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A community with open arms

A community with open arms

Something to read

In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, ‘Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.'

- Matthew 2:1-2.

Something to think about

My spatial awareness is, frankly, terrible. But my partner is able to look at a room, eye up the furniture, and figure out exactly how to arrange it to make the cosiest space, or open up the room to fit the most people in. This has been especially useful over the festive season, when we’ve had extra people to try to fit inside the same amount of space that we always have.

Physical spaces are by nature limited: the warm kitchen gathering I wrote about on 1 January couldn’t have comfortably welcomed more than a couple of extra guests. Sometimes those on the inside of a limited space, those who are enjoying its warmth and comfort, feel protective of it and want to close the door to any newcomers who might crowd or change what they have.

But the community of God’s people is wide open and welcoming to all; the is warmth and light enough to go around. That each person contributes, adds to and impacts the family culture, is a great gift. The arrival of the magi to meet and worship the young Jesus challenges us to offer the same warm welcome in both our physical spaces, and in the communities of which we’re part.

Something to do

If you don’t already know, research what local groups and organisations support refugees in your area. Consider how you might want to get involved in offering a welcome.

Something to pray

God of outstretched arms, thank you for the wideness of your mercy and the expansive reach of your love. Where I am tempted to turn inwards in defence, open me up to other people and help me to welcome them into the communities of which I’m a part. Amen.

Today’s contributor is Rev Claire Jones