Posted by: Melissa Bane Sevier | June 26, 2017

There’s always room

When I was in college I had a friend who would often approach a crowded table in the dining hall, bring up a chair, elbow her way in, and exclaim, “There’s always room for one more!” And there always was. She’d say the same thing when someone else was looking for a place to eat, and she’d make sure that person had a seat at the table.

What if we lived that philosophy?

“Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. Whoever welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward; and whoever welcomes a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive the reward of the righteous; and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple—truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.” [from Matthew 10]

Most of us are willing to welcome prophets and the righteous, but who are the “little ones”? Is Jesus referring only to the children?

Maybe. But it’s more likely that it refers to all those who are vulnerable, invisible, thirsty or hungry, overlooked, as children were in his day.

Churches are usually great at coffee and donuts, social time where we welcome guests who are a lot like us in appearance, belief, status.

What if we took to giving cold water to the “little ones” instead of just welcoming the usual suspects? It may mean opening our eyes. It may mean going outside our doors instead of waiting for them to come to us. Our own status may even suffer if the identity of our church involves encouraging equal welcome and status to the physically and mentally handicapped, if we go out to meet and to serve the poor and actually get to know them?

What happens if we change our image by spending time with the homeless and join them in their gathering places? If we learn from them instead of just wanting to tell them how to live? If we actually get to know individuals who are not like us?

In that case, we won’t just be giving a cup of cold water. We’ll be sharing cold water with each other, as we learn to change our preconceptions and welcome people as Jesus did—with grace and a determination to bring equality.

Why? Because there’s always room for one more at the table.IMG_8078, copyright, low

© 2017, Melissa Bane Sevier

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Responses

  1. Beautiful! Thank you, Melissa.


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