I drove into a town one day that had a well at the town limit. The well had a sign that said, “Well Come to ….” I cannot remember the name of the town but I thought it was fun play on the word welcome.
What is the word welcome all about anyway? I looked up that information and learned it is two words joined together. The first word half, “wel” comes from Old English “wil” which means desire or pleasure. The word “come” is also from an old English word. This time “cuma” which means guest and “cuman” means to go or come. So, the word was set up share please at a person (guest) coming to a place.
I noticed how a simple word got very complicated very quickly. What I have realized is that as people, we can make welcoming someone very complicated. How? Well, the best example I have found is in Acts 4 and 5. The start of the church gathering together. As they welcomed each other they had a very specific expectation. All people would share all they had so everyone would have what they needed. However, a husband and wife were not happy about this and so they said they shared but they lied. As each lied, they then died, after being told they had lied to God.
I am not sure they felt welcome to do what they felt they needed to do for their own well being. I read this scripture and realized it was not good that the two people lied. But, my question was what made them feel like they had to lie.
This leads me to ask, how do we help people feel welcome? It is not easy, because as humans, we have expectations and a moral value of right and wrong. But, those expectations and moral values are not always agreed upon. So, how do we help each other feel welcome?
I do not have the answer. All I can say is it is not easy. Maybe we do it by looking at other people’s perspectives. Maybe we own who we are and know it will be through conversations and building relationships that true acceptance and understanding can be found. Maybe, we realize that we start from the place of being glad another human being as come to be with us.
Last week, as the people came in for our time of worship at Prairie Winds, I celebrated each person there. I shared my joy at being with them. How often do we share joy at being together? How often do we believe God experiences joy at being with us? I hope you know I mean it when I say you are always welcome with me! Blessings, Pastor Tessa