Last week as I was looking over one of the lectionary mailing lists, I read a great post on hospitality by Thom Shuman. I asked Thom’s permission to share it with you, and he most kindly granted that permission.
“When it comes to hospitality, I am reminded of the Scottish crofts in the Highlands, which were built with two rooms. The first, known as the ‘but,’ was where folks who knocked on the door, like the local minister, the teacher, etc., were welcomed, with the formal china, the formal manners, the formal conversation.
“It was the second room, the ‘ben,’ in which the family and friends gathered for meals, celebrations, grand occasions; the place where one could put their feet up, drink out of the old, chipped mug, eat off the china which had been passed down for centuries. The greatest compliment given to a visitor was to hear the invitation, “come awa’ ben”
“I fear that all too often when others come to church, we welcome them with our formal manners, formal conversation, formal china, when all they are looking for is that invitation to become one of the family, to hear “come awa’ ben”
“After all, when we gather for communion (as we will this Sunday), though we wrap it in as much formality as we can, God is simply inviting us, “come awa’ ben.” “
I don’t think any comment is needed from me this morning.