I thought by now I would have arrived. I was wrong. The older I get, the more I realize I have to learn. The older I get the more I realize how much I still do not know. Wisdom is not knowing it all. Wisdom is the openness to hear God speaking.
I receive much praise for my preaching, and for that, I am grateful. When I receive these kind compliments, however, I have a response that comes from the heart: “When I preach, I am simply talking to myself and letting (or perhaps forcing) others to listen to that conversation.” That’s not false humility. It is gospel truth.
As I have aged and gained experience in ministry and as I celebrate my ministry among a people who are earnestly seeking to go where God is leading, I have discovered that God has much more to say to me than I previously would have thought. God is teaching me how to trust more. God is teaching me how to love better. God is teaching me how to live out my faith in ways I previously thought were simply not possible … or permissible. God is teaching me to “let go and let God.”
In short, I have discovered that my faith is a faith on the move. It is a dynamic faith. It is a faith that takes me to new places and greater heights than I ever thought possible. Some people use their faith to become more entrenched in their own biases and their own prejudices. I have discovered the absolute joy of a faith that pulls (no, that yanks) me from my trenches and propels me into places I never before considered.
Hospitality … no, it is Radical Hospitality (thanks to Bishop Schnase) … that has become a central theme of my ministry. It is what I discovered in the people at Wellspring, and it is one of the hallmarks of following Jesus. This is the kind of radical hospitality that breaks down the walls between us and that enables us to offer Christ to people no matter who they are or what they think or who they love. It is the kind of hospitality that makes true inclusiveness possible.
In the Gospel of John, we see Jesus move from a place where he believes he has come only for the “people of Israel” to a place where a gentile woman and a Samaritan woman can both feed on the crumbs that fall from the table and bathe in the wellspring that flows up to eternal life. If this kind of movement is possible for Jesus, then it is possible for us.
So I invite you to join us in this “movement” of faith. It is an opportunity to consider how we have often misused our faith to entrench ourselves and then reconsider how we might use our faith to move closer to the God who calls us to this place of radical hospitality where all are welcome and all are accepted!
A new movement is afoot! You are invited to join us as we move together into the arms of grace!