Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. (Lk 10:34)
Lord, turn our churches into ‘inns’, welcoming those in need
Additional scripture passages
- Genesis 18:4-5
- Psalm 5:11-12
The man who fell into the hands of robbers was cared for by a Samaritan. The Samaritan confronted his own fear and prejudice and moved beyond it. He saw a stranger in need and brought him to an inn. “The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, ‘Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend’” (Lk 10:35).
In any human society, hospitality and solidarity are essential. They require the welcoming of strangers, migrants and all people without a home. Such hospitality can require sacrifice, but it is an important witness to the Gospel, particularly in contexts of religious and cultural pluralism. When faced with insecurity, suspicion and sometimes violence, we tend to mistrust our neighbours and extending and accepting hospitality becomes more difficult.
Welcoming ‘the other’, and being welcomed in turn, is at the heart of ecumenical dialogue and practice. Christians are challenged to turn our churches into inns, open and inviting spaces where our neighbours can find Christ. Such hospitality is a sign of the love that our churches have for one another and for all.
When we, as followers of Christ, move beyond our traditions and choose to practise ecumenical hospitality, we stop being strangers and start being good neighbours.
What stops me from action?
What silences our unity?
Clinging to familiarity.
Paralysed by fear of change, rejection and judgement.
Or simply a lack of time.
Justifying a choice to keep on walking.
To discard a treasure.
Where is Christ in the face of the other?
Rescuing, welcoming, accepting me.
Joining me in prayer, worship and witness.
Seeing me as I look into the eyes of those in need.
The unexpected jewel reflecting something of the face of God.
Go and Do
Personal: Find out about the life of a Christian from another tradition who has been a ‘good neighbour’. What did they do and what can you learn from this experience?
Local: What ecumenical ‘treasure’ can be found in your area? Find out what Christians are doing together and get involved.
Global: Consider your neighbours in a different part of the world. Join the World Council of Churches Prayer Cycle and commit to praying regularly for your neighbours and understanding them better.
Original source: WPCU 2024