Church will continue to be like the “Courts of Bovine Justice” until we make a serious commitment to embrace all people with God’s love and grace. This means training ourselves to receive and include everyone into the life of the church. It requires crafting worship in such a way that it moves people to invite their friends and neighbors to services. True hospitality is practiced when we learn to offer meals in which people can gather around tables for conversations, leading to the development of relationships. True welcome is experienced when newcomers join small groups where they can grow in faith and in deep-spirited friendships. Purebreds and scrubs. That distinction broke down for the apostle Paul in Philippi, and it can break down for us, too, when we remember Paul’s words: “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28).
- Acts 16:9-15