The Latest News from Immanuel Lutheran Church

Blog

Lefse Making - November 2, 2019

Immanuel Lutheran Church of Wausau

Lefse making has been an important project for most of Immanuel’s 135-year history. It was an important complement to the fall lutefisk dinners that were made available to the community as a fundraiser and an event that firmly stamped Immanuel as the Norwegian congregation in Wausau. The last lutefisk dinner was held in 1965, and thereafter, lefse was sold to the community as part of the fall bazaar, a tradition that ended almost a decade ago. The eight-week schedule of turning 800 lbs. of potatoes into lefse for the bazaar has now been reduced to two Saturdays of lefse rolling and baking in November for selling to members of the congregation. We are no longer an ethnic congregation, but this Norwegian tradition continues.

Lefse was made on Friday, November 1st (peeling) and Saturday November 2nd (baking).

Lefse will be sold on November 10, 2019. The cost is $7 per bag.

Click here to view a video filmed during Lefse making this year.

 

 

Reformation Sunday

Lutheran Heritage and the world

Rev. Dr. Niveen Sarras                       Reformation Sunday

October 27, 2019

 

On April 17, 1521, Emperor Charles V, summoned Martin Luther to the imperial Diet that was to be held at the German city of Worms. Diet in English means assembly or in our context, the Congress. Johann Eck, a papal theologian, represented Pope Leo X to debate with Luther concerning his theology and writings. The Diet of Worms expected from Luther to renounce his faith and recant his writings. Luther’s response is often quoted:

 “I cannot choose but adhere to the word of God, which has possession of my conscience; nor can I possibly, nor will I even make any recantation, since it is neither safe nor honest to act contrary to conscience! Here I stand; I cannot do otherwise, so help me God! Amen.”

 

On May 25, 1521, as a result of Luther's refusal, Emperor Charles V issued an edict, well known as the Edict of Worms, condemning Luther for crimes of heresy and called to burn his books. Luther could not contradict the word of God. He firmly believed in what Jesus says: “if you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (John 8:31-32).

The word of God is the foundation of our faith. It is enough to guide us and to help us to know God’s will for us. The word of God assisted Martin Luther to stand firm against the authority of Pope Leo X and the Emperor Charles V. The word of God inspired the Lutheran reformation and changed the course of religious and cultural history in the West. The word of God is very powerful. The word of God liberated the 16th-century Christians from the oppressing church that controlled every aspect of their life. The word of God gives hope to the hopeless and brings down tyrants from their thrones.

 

 

Luther relied on the word of God to challenge rulers and Pope Leo X to improve the state affair of the poor. Germans were hardly able to survive from day-to-day. They had to pay taxes, which were used to serve the pope’s projects and interests. Poor Germans found hope for their suffering and struggle through buying indulgences.  As a result, Luther wrote his 95 theses to correct the theology of his time. The word of God inspired Martin Luther to spread his reform to reach all parts of the church and society, and to call everyone to action. For Luther, the gospel of the Lord aims to lift up Christians' life, not to abuse and take advantage of them.

 Luther did not separate Christians' spiritual life from earthly life. He engaged in the world and encouraged Christians to engage, too. His reformation advocated for good education to children and women, welfare for the poor, and to improve public health services. The word of God relates and speaks to every aspect of our life here on earth.

 

Luther used the word of God to open the eyes of secular authorities and papacy to the dire situation of the poor Germans. His writings are filled with biblical counsel for rulers.  For example, he sent a letter to Prince John Frederick, Duke of Saxony, introducing his commentary on the Magnificat, the song of Mary in the gospel of Luke. He explained that God cared about the destitute like virgin Mary. Luther used the Magnificat to encourage the prince to help the poor and to administer justice. Luther blamed economic and social disruption on the papacy and rulers’ injustice and called them to administrate justice; otherwise, they become beasts.

 

Lutheran theology and tradition are full of examples of Lutherans challenging unjust secular and religious authorities. The most famous Lutheran of the 20th century is Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who opposed Nazi propaganda and criticized the church’s complicity in Nazism. He believed in the word of God that gives life to people. He relied on the word of God and the Lutheran tradition to resist Hitler. Bonhoeffer was executed because he refused to compromise with the evil that opposed the word of God.

 

Another example is the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989. Do you know that Lutherans played an essential role in destroying the Berlin wall and resisting the Communists?

 

The peaceful protest moment began in a Lutheran gathering for “prayer and politics” in Leipzig. Faithfully assembling for worship, lingering after service for prayer and mutual support, and meeting again on Mondays, sometimes with only a few people present, to talk about things that matter, Lutheran worshipers created the space for the largest peaceful demonstration in German history to occur. After nearly a decade of small meetings, on the evening of October 9, 1989, eight thousand people flocked to the church, and between seventy thousand and one hundred thousand joined for a candle-lit walk through the city, in resistance to Communist tyranny and standing bravely for freedom at the risk of personal injury and imprisonment. The police “joined” the walk by not shooting a single shot. (Ryan P. Cumming. The Forgotten Luther II (pp. 28-29). Fortress Press. Kindle Edition).

 

Lutherans' act of resistance destroyed the Berlin wall. What shall I say more? I wish I have enough time to talk about Palestinian Lutherans resisting the Israeli military occupation of West Bank and Gaza. Or to speak about ELCA sending missionaries to war zones to help the oppressed and to provide shelter, food, and medicine to the victims of war. This is who Lutherans are. This is our Lutheran tradition that we should celebrate every single day, not once a year.

 

The Grateful Samaritan Leper.

Luke 17

Rev. Dr. Niveen Sarras

Luke 17, The Grateful Samaritan Leper.

October 13, 2019

Recently I have been reading a historical novel called Echo by Pam Ryan. This novel is about a German boy Fredrick. He was born with a birthmark and had genetic disease. The setting of the novel is Nazi Germany. On July 14, 1933, the Nazis issued a law for the prevention of progeny with genetic disease. His family was against Hitler's fanatic policies, which endangered their lives. Fredrick was afraid to get sterilized or send to orphanage Nazi institutions. Nazis believed that Aryan race must remain healthy. Epilepsy, blindness, deafness, and severe alcoholism were considered an offense against German society. The Nazis treated children and adults like Fredrick as subhuman. They did not want them to be part of their community. Nazis considered them to be a burden on Germany. So, they considered them unworthy of life. As a result of this law, thousands were murdered through starvation or lethal overdose of medication.

 

In antiquity, Jews treated lepers as dangerous to the safety and well-being of the Jewish community. The evangelist Luke tells us that 10 lepers begged Jesus to heal them. These lepers did not live among Jewish community or Samaritan community. They were social outcasts and had to live in isolated places. The Jews perceived lepers as unclean and cursed by God. A leper had to cover his upper lip and cry, “unclean, unclean” so that nobody comes close to them.

 

Those who are shunned by their society, Jesus healed and welcomed them. What is interesting about that 10 lepers is that one of them was a Samaritan. Jews and Samaritans were bitter rivals. They did not interact with each other. In Jesus’ time, hostility towards Samaritans was strong. However, the nine Jews accepted a Samaritan leper among them. They shared their lives with him. Above all, Jesus praises the Samaritan leper’s faith not the nine Jews.

 

The evangelist Luke presents Samaritans positively. In his gospel, he tells us about the parable of The Good Samaritan and The Grateful Samaritan Leper. In the book of Acts, Luke shows that the Samaritans received the Holy Spirit after believing in Jesus Christ. According to Luke, the grateful Samaritan leper is a model of a person who is a subject of godly love. Despite being a Jew, Jesus healed a Samaritan leper. He saw them as equally important in the eyes of God.

 

The Jewish audience of the gospel of Luke (Luke wrote to Gentiles, but I believe that Jews also heard his gospel, too) was shocked to hear about Jesus praising and healing a Samaritan. Let me explain what I mean using a contemporary example. Imagine 10 persons living with HIV. They meet Jesus and beg him to heal them. Nine of them are American Christians, and one of them is Iranian Muslim. Jesus heals all of them, and only the Iranian Muslim comes back, and he prostrates himself at Jesus’ feet and thanks him. Jesus praises the Iranian man’s faith and questions the nine American Christians' behavior. How are you going to feel?

 

Through this story, the evangelist “Luke is building a case for indiscriminate love and radical inclusion” (Ira Brent Driggers, Luke 17:11-19, working preacher). In like manner, the author of 2 Kings 5 presents Naaman, the commander of the army of the king of Aram—Syria today and enemy of Israel as a subject of God’s love. The grateful Samaritan leper and Naaman, the leper, are subject of God’s grace. God’s love and grace are available for everybody even those we might think do not deserve it.

 

As the story of the grateful Samaritan leper provokes the Jewish audience, the story of Naaman, the leper, provokes the Israelites. Remember when Jesus preached in a synagogue in Nazareth that Naaman was subject of God’s grace and the Jewish worshipers were angry and tried to throw him off of the cliff (Luke 4). It is hard on any person or any group who is prejudice against another group to believe that the disliked group is part of God’s grace and love.

 

Us versus them creates barriers between people. Prejudice and discrimination prevent us from seeing our neighbor as a subject of God’s love and grace. The story of the grateful Samaritan leper and Naaman, the leper, invites us to look on the inside of a person whom we believe is fallen from God’s grace. God does not think as we do. God’s plan is different than ours. We look on the outside of a person, but God is looking on the inside. A person whom we think has fallen from God’s grace is subject of God’s grace and love.

 

Prejudice against any person is part of our sinful nature that we need to resist. Jesus’ ministry was revolutionary. He pours out the love and grace of God abundantly on the most unworthy people. Being a Christian, white, and American does not qualify you to sit at the Lord’s table in heaven. Only your faith in Jesus and sharing his love with your neighbor, particularly the one whom you do not like, will grant you a free ticket to his heavenly feast. None of us is worthy of God’s grace. None of us is worthy of God’s love because all of us are sinners. But Jesus Christ made the unworthy worthy of God’s love and grace. We are only made worthy in God's sight by Jesus' sacrificial act of love on the cross.

 

 

 

Faith and Mulberry Tree‎

Luke 17:5-10 and Habakkuk 1:1-4; 2:1-4‎

Rev. Dr. Niveen Sarras

Luke 17:5-10 and Habakkuk 1:1-4; 2:1-4

October 6, 2019

My father was about ten years old when he planted a mulberry tree. Now this tree is big, and its fruit is very delicious. My parents share its fruit with family, friends, and neighbors, and even the passersby. Everybody loves our mulberry tree except my mother. She enjoys the fruit but not the tree itself because not only people enjoy our mulberry tree, but also flies and ants. When its fruit fall, my family must clean immediately to avoid flies and insects. One day, my mother complained a lot about the mulberry tree and flies. My father teased her by quoting Jesus’ words: “If you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you” (v.6).

 

My father was teasing my mother. He was not serious. What if Jesus was teasing his disciples, too. Or what if Jesus uses metaphorical language? This verse is often taken literally, which has distorted Christians' faith into the kind of magic. Many Christians became victims of misleading or incorrect interpretation of this verse. Some Christians troubled with their faith because their faith does not enable them to uproot a mulberry tree. Some of you might think if we just had more faith, then God could do miracles through us.

 

We need to understand that the example Jesus is using is random in this story. “Jesus apparently points to the nearest object and dreams up the most fantastic of scenarios. He could just as easily have said ‘turn this tree into a rabbit’” (Ira Brent Driggers, Commentary on Luke 17:5-10, Working preacher). Previously, Jesus was teaching his disciples about forgiveness. His disciples shift the conversation from forgiveness to faith. The disciples ask Jesus to increase their faith.

 

From Jesus' perspective, his disciples asked the wrong question. Jesus uses figurative language to explain to them that those with mustard seed faith will be able to forgive those who sin against them. They can do the impossible with little faith. A mustard seed faith is enough for our discipleship.

 

Mulberry tree can be a symbol of a problem in your life and the life of our community. For the prophet Habakkuk the mulberry tree is disguised in injustice, tragedy, violence, and destruction all over Israel. He wanted God to uproot the mulberry tree and planted in the sea. He questions God's goodness. He wanted God to give him an explanation for the pointless violence. Do not we ask God the same questions about injustice and violence, particularly questioning the senseless shooting and death of innocent people of the Pine Grove Cemetery office in Wausau?

 

 

God reminds Habakkuk and us that God will deal with evil in God’s time and that we need to have faith, “the righteous live by their faith” (2:4).  God will uproot mulberry tree that causes destruction and violence in our community.  We need to have faith. This faith would help Habakkuk to see hope and restoration and will help us. A mustard seed faith can give us hope in working together to uproot the mulberry tree that represents gun violence in our country. This mustard seed faith encourages us to leave our homes to go to the world to advance the kingdom of God on earth and to speaks boldly against gun violence. A little faith in the Son of God is enough to help you with any problem you are facing in your life. The extraordinary faith is not the one that literally uproots the mulberry tree and plants it in the sea, but the remarkable faith is the one that helps you to believe that Jesus Christ is with you when you feel your world is falling apart. The mustard seed faith is enough to help you to face any crisis and can save you from falling into despair.

 

1st Annual Soup & Suds Gathering

October 8, 2019

It was the 1st Annual Soup & Suds Gathering at Immanuel Lutheran Church. All that attended had a wonderful time learning about the soap making process and enjoying a wonderful meal. Thank you Pastor Niveen for your inspiration to live a little greener. And thank you, Janci for the awesome soup and bread. It was so scrumptious. A special thank you to the ladies who attended the class. It was truly a great time of fellowship.

Can't wait to see that soap. It takes several weeks for it to cure. However, the dishwashing soap is ready to use in the kitchen.

 

 

Adult Forum Series

Presented by Rev. Dr. Niveen Sarras

You are welcome to attend our adult forum series discussing the recently published book The Forgotten Luther II: Reclaiming the Church's Public Witness; Edited by Ryan P. Cumming.

Rev. Dr. Niveen Sarras
The schedule:

  • October 13: Reclaiming Luther’s Public Witness on Church, State, and War.
  • October 27: The Reformation Sunday. Martin and Kate Luther: A Play.
  • November 17: Lutheran Faith: Rebellion and Responsibility.
  • November 24: Reclaiming the Empowerment of Ordinary People.
  • December 8: God’s Word Spoken Publicly, Boldly, and Honesty.

You can purchase the book at Janke bookstore for $16.99.

Church service is at 9:00am on Sunday. Coffee hour is at 10:00am followed by the adult forum at 10:45am. You are welcome to attend church services and/or the adult forum.

All are welcome!

Location: Immanuel Lutheran Church, 630 Adams St Wausau, WI 54403
Phone: (715) 842-3644
Email: immanuel@frontier.com
FB: @ILCWausau

Gospel Songfest, September 22, 2019

Video Gallery

Gospel Songfest Service, September 22, 2019

 

If you missed a service, you may view them on Charter Cable Channel 980 5:45 pm Tuesday & 9:15 am Thursday or online: Wausau Area Access Media: waam.viebit.com (Left side, scroll to Immanuel Lutheran).

 

 

 

The Dishonest Manager

Luke 16

Rev. Dr. Niveen Sarras

Luke 16 the Dishonest Manager[1]

September 22, 2019

 

Is Jesus celebrating dishonesty? What is the positive lesson Jesus might draw out of sinful behavior? Let us paraphrase the parable.

 

The master heard a rumor about his manager that he is dishonest. He made a judgment without having an account on his stewardship. He told his manager “you are no longer be my steward, so give me an account.” The manager is already accused by gossip and condemned. He is done. He is fired on hear saying.

 

The steward said all I know is to be a manager/an accountant. “I cannot do labor work and I am ashamed to beg.” “I am in a situation of having been accused of fraud. I may just do it because I am already condemned to it.”

 

He calls debtors in and makes the book matches the accusation fraud. There is no evidence of wasting his master’s goods. So, he makes the evidence fit the accusation. He calls each debtor in and asks “what is your bill? Hundred? Write down 50, write down 80.”

When it comes to gossip. When those debtors go back out into the community and they hear that he has been put out of the stewardship, each one is going to think, “because of me; because of our hidden interaction, he was fired. What I am going to do?”

 

This manager has an honored claim on each one participated in the fraud. The manager will say, “I am fired because of the favor I did to you.”

What he does, he in involves everyone who has been gossiping in the problem in a way that each one will think,

“I do not want to be exposed as the cause of this problem because everyone knows that the master is my friend or worker in the business. If it comes out, then the master is going to know that I defrauded him.”

 

The manager silences everyone gossip by involving everyone in the accusation. When he is kicked out, he can just say to the debtor,

“you know, my master kicked me out of my work for fraud. Do you remember that fraud? I do not want what happened to that fraud to come out.” “I need a job.”

Everyone is obliged to take him in his own house to cover him and silence him. This commercial situation is about gossip and accusation of fraud.

 

That dishonest manager uses his intelligence to figure out a way to manipulate money to secure his future. When the master found out how shrewd his manager was, he praised him.

 

What Jesus was impressed by? The answer is in verse eight and nine.

Jesus says, “for the children of this age [unbelievers in Christ] are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light” (v. 8). Jesus is saying, “it might be true, you Christians do not know how to be smart in this world affair, but this is insignificant compared to the wisdom I am about to teach you about how to use the money to secure your eternal future.” In other words, maybe you are not shrewd when it comes to the stock market, but who cares. Jesus says, “do you think that is shrewd? Let me tell you the real shrewdness.”

 

Here it comes verse nine. Jesus says “ And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of dishonest wealth so that when it is gone, they may welcome you into the eternal homes.” Jesus is telling the disciples not just to secure their earthly future that all what the dishonest manager can do. He hoped to get help when he becomes jobless. This is Jesus’ way of saying, “you need help with your jobless in eternity and I am telling you how to have a place to live, security and joy in fellowship with God’s people forever.”

 

All the shrewdness of this dishonest manager will come to nothing because it based on wealth that will fail. Jesus shows us the way you use your money to secure your eternity. Jesus says, “Use your money, the unrighteous mammon and wealth.” He means this is part of the unrighteous world in which you live. Take hold of it and use it for eternal and spiritual purposes namely to help the poor. In this way, you secure eternal place with friends in heaven.

 

Jesus’ statement triggers Luke 12:33 “Sell your possessions, and give alms. Make purses for yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.” Making friends with money means using your money to meet people’s needs. That is the way you lay up treasures in heaven that does not fail. Some of these people will believe in Christ and go before you into heaven and welcome you in great joy to join them in eternity.

 

Do not worry about being a shrewd investor in this age where you only can provide a future that will fail. Instead, be a really shrewd investor in people’s lives by using your resources to do as much good as you can for the glory of God and the eternal good of others who will go before you into heaven and welcome you into an eternal home.

 

[1] This sermon is based on reflections by Adam Ayers, “Is Jesus Praising Someone for Dishonesty? Luke 16: Bible Walkthrough,” YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aq6Z-H4t0ko&t=435s (accessed on September 21, 2019; John Piper, “Does Jesus Commend Dishonesty in Luke 16?” YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7mgOXUYOjjw (accessed on September 21, 2019).

 

 

Luke 14:25-33‎

The Cost of Discipleship

Rev. Dr. Niveen Sarras

September 8, 2019

Luke 14:25-33, The Cost of Discipleship

 

Jim Elliot was an evangelical Christian who was killed while evangelizing the Huaorani tribe in Ecuador. This tribe was well known for being dangerous and hostile to outsiders. Elliot left Portland, Oregon, and his wife and daughter to share the good news with the Huaorani tribe. He went with his four friends. As soon as they encountered the Huaorani people, the warriors attacked and killed them.

Elliot and his friends knew that their mission was dangerous. They knew that they might be killed. Elliot thought genuinely of his calling and counted the cost of following Jesus Christ and be his disciple. Later, the Huaorani people believed in Jesus, and Elliot’s wife baptized the man who killed Elliot. It is easier to follow Christ, but it is not easy to be his disciple. Jim Elliot was a disciple of Jesus Christ and fully committed to him alone much more than his commitment to his wife and daughter.

 

The evangelist Luke talks about Jesus teaching on the cost of discipleship. Luke describes large crowds were traveling with Jesus. Jesus turns and challenges their commitment to him. He asks them to consider the cost of following him and be his disciples. He gives them two parables to illustrates his point: The first is of a man who estimates the cost to build a tower and a king estimates the cost of engaging in a war against his enemy.  Many follow Jesus, but not many are his disciples. Many enter through the wide gate, but few enter through the narrow gate (Matthew 7:13). Many are interested in cheap grace, and few are interested in costly grace. When Jesus says who do not hate their family and even their lives cannot be his disciple, he does not mean to dislike or despise your family and yourself. “We can never be His disciples as long we allow other attachments to hold us back” (Hardgrove, The Cost of Discipleship, 2006). Jesus invites us to lay aside all earthly attachments like clinging to family or possessions, or personal interests that hold us back from being his disciples.

 

Jesus challenges the large crowds who were following him to go a little deeper in their commitment. He requires full devotion to him. No one should be ahead of Jesus. We live in a godless world where Christianity relates discipleship to health, wealth, and success rather than a commitment to Christ and suffering for his name sake. Dietrich Bonhoeffer teaches in his book The Cost of Discipleship (kindle 1276), “When Christ calls a man/woman, he bids them come and die.”

Jesus requires us to carry the cross or our cross, according to the evangelist Matthew’s version. That said, Christ invites us to endure life’s hardships and challenges for the sake of his name. The cross is a symbol of death, suffering, and sacrifice. As Jesus carried his cross and died for us, the church is also called to carry her cross and be willing to die for her faith. Discipleship means the cross, and the cross means suffering. The church is called to suffer. Dietrich Bonhoeffer explains the deep meaning of suffering,

It is not the sort of suffering which is inseparable from this mortal life, but the suffering which is an essential part of the specifically Christian life. It is not suffering per se but suffering-and-rejection, and not rejection for any cause or conviction of our own, but rejection for the sake of Christ” (Bonhoeffer, kindle 1236).

 

 

Discipleship means we need to be ready to die for Christ. It also involves living for Jesus, not for ourselves. Discipleship means casting our wishes, ambitious, and even our rights before the feet of Christ. The church is called to let go of everything that takes her from Christ. Jesus also says, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62). Hence, discipleship is not for those who put their hands to the plow and look back, but it is for those who found a great treasure hidden in a field, and they sold all they have and bought that field (Matthew 13:44). Discipleship means that Jesus is number one in your life. He is first, and all other things are subject to the decision to be his disciples.

 

 

Humility and Hospitality.

Rev. Dr. Niveen Sarras

Rev. Dr. Niveen Sarras

Luke 14:1, 7-14.

September 1, 2019

Today, Jesus gives us a lesson on humility and hospitality. He invites us to be humble and not to strive for a place of honor, prestige, and admiration because humility brings us these things. In other words, humility brings you to the place of honor. Jesus was concerned about the troubling of his popularity following his miracles, particularly the miracle of Transfiguration and feeding the multitudes. He refused to become a king or to seek authority or prestige. He is an excellent example of a humble person who lived his life, not for himself but for us. “Following Jesus Christ is not about positions of honor or authority in his kingdom; it is about embracing a life dedicated to loving one another as he has loved us.”

 

Humility and hospitality go hand in hand. Hospitality always requires humility. When we are humble, we open our hearts to share our resources with the poor, strangers, blind, and lame. Humility opens our mind and soul to our struggling neighbor. Humility is God's gift to those who ask for it. It is a divine gift that helps us to walk side by side with our neighbor who is struggling to put food on the table and care for their kids when they may be working three jobs.

 

Many people in this world whose lives and hope to find a small amount of happiness are intertwined with what we think, say, and do. God did not create us to live for ourselves. God did not create me to live for Niveen and only Niveen. God created us to be responsible for each other.

 

The poor and the disadvantage need the leader of the Pharisees to provide them a meal to survive. His wealthy guests did not need his food. The poor need the rich to work with them to eliminate poverty. And the rich need to remember not to take their privileges and resources for granted.

 

We need each other. This is a fact that we cannot ignore. We need each other not only when we face financial crisis, but also when we question our relationship with somebody who is dear to us, or when a member of our family or a friend is sick or is living in an abusive relationship, or when a friend cannot handle the stress at their workplace. There are more and more examples. But the point is that your humility is key to your relationships. Your humility helps you to practice hospitality to your neighbors and friends.

 

Hospitality entails opening your heart to your friends. It also involves listening to your neighbor, their struggles, their pains in every place the Lord Jesus sends you. This act of hospitality is an act of grace. It is an act of love and care. A touch of kindness can make a difference in your neighbor’s life.

 

The 8-year old boy Christian Moore has inspired me with his touch of kindness. This little boy comforts his classmate with autism on the first day of school. His humility and hospitality were very significant. No wonder that his heartwarming photo was all over the news. That little boy Christian teaches us to practice gracious hospitality to those who are in need.

 

Jesus touches our hearts every day. His gracious hospitality is for you every single day. His gracious hospitality is available to you in breaking the bread and drinking the wine. His humility opens to you a great banquet where everybody is welcome to join. Jesus also practices his gracious hospitality at every moment when you go to him to throw yourself into his arms because you know he is the one who is gladly willing to carry you when the road is rough, and your burden is heavy.