Welcome the Stranger

Good People of West Parish,

When I arrived at the church on Tuesday, I found a beautiful bouquet of flowers and a card.

The card said this: “As a Muslim neighbor and friend, I would like to express my deepest sympathy and condolences to your community for the senseless acts of terror and violence committed in Sri Lanka during Easter...” The writer went on to say that those violent acts do not represent Muslims, and that they stand with us in solidarity and love.

I was so deeply moved by this gesture.  And I also felt convicted: Had I done enough to reach out to Jewish neighbors following the synagogue shooting? Had I done enough to reach out to local mosques following the New Zealand attack?  Have I done enough to love my neighbors and “welcome the stranger”, especially those who are targets of hatred?

Reaching out to one another in love, regardless of our faith or nationality, is what we are called to do!

Join us this Sunday for an all ages service, when we’ll remember that, aside for Native Peoples, all of us were strangers at one time.

Let us “welcome the stranger” in our midst as Jesus commanded, and reach out to one another!