This week is the final Sunday of Advent. We hear the story of Mary visiting her relative Elizabeth. This is one of my favorite events in Scripture. Both of these women were on the cusp of something brand new and they were full of hope, fear, and faith. They offered one another space and grace. I imagine there was tea and a nice warm bed for Mary.
This is a season of hospitality. You will welcome others and you will be welcomed. The Christian tradition has a long history of hospitality, with commands to “welcome the stranger (i.e.. foreigner)” repeated throughout Scripture and practiced throughout faith communities. We welcome one another, trusting that as we do so, we also welcome Christ.
Today was the ribbon cutting for Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services’ new temporary field office at Peace. In my remarks, I said:
It is appropriate to have this event at Christmas, when we remember that even in his birth, Jesus depended on the hospitality of others…When we are given the honor of welcoming new people, we are given the honor of welcoming our very Lord.