Pastor’s Corner (09/26/19)
Beloved, you do faithfully whatever you do for the friends, even though they are strangers to you; they have testified to your love before the church. You will do well to send them on in a manner worthy of God; for they began their journey for the sake of Christ, accepting no support from non-believers. Therefore we ought to support such people, so that we may become co-workers with the truth. 3 John verses 5-8
The author of this epistle offers encouragement to an individual and their congregation as they strive to provide hospitality to visiting messengers of Christ. Individuals in this first century church wanted to be the focus and didn’t see the value in providing hospitality to visiting missionaries. This is the only Johannine epistle written to an individual. At this time in the life of the church, congregations were loosely connected by the letters and visits of those in authority. An individual in this congregation challenged the spiritual authority of those coming and being sent so he refused to offer them hospitality. However, there were others, including the person to whom this letter is written, who challenged this person and wanted to welcome those coming in Christ’s name. Fortunately, the author’s perspective prevailed and this congregation, and those that followed, have been urged to show hospitality to those coming to share the Good News of Christ.
As you read this edition of the Messenger, I will be receiving that kind of hospitality from our sisters in Morocco. Ten of us from all over the US will be receiving hospitality from them and their congregations. Many of us are accustomed to giving hospitality, sometimes it is really a challenge to genuinely receive it. Sincerely receiving the gift of hospitality is a gift, and a calling, as well. I hope you will pray for all of us as we participate in the Mission Pilgrimage. I leave for Indianapolis early Monday morning, September 23, where the group will meet and participate in some orientation. On Tuesday, September 24, we’ll depart for our overnight flight through Paris and land in Casablanca on Wednesday, September 25. (I don’t think we’ll be visiting Rick’s, but you never know). We’ll be visiting several cities throughout the country during our time there. We return to the US on Saturday, October 5.
As many of you know, my parents lived in Morocco during the ‘50’s when my father was stationed at the Naval Air Station Port Lyautey. I grew up hearing stories about their time there and I’ve always wanted to visit. I am so excited that I will be able to experience this county and its people. A friend sent me this quote by G.K. Chesterton: “Tourists see what they came to see. Travelers see what they see.”
I am thrilled to have a chance to see and experience this exotic country through the eyes of our sisters there. I look forward to telling you all about it when I return. I feel particularly blessed by the generosity of those who made it possible. Our Disciple Women here at FCC, the FCC Foundation, and the Nebraska Disciple Women all contributed equally to pay for my trip. I used some of my continuing education funds, provided by the congregation as part of my package, to pay my deposit. I couldn’t do this without all of you and I am tremendously grateful.
So, au revoir for now and see you in October!
With a truly grateful heart,