Yesterday in our Third Sunday event we considered together how we welcome others among us as we share together in the journey of life and faith. Oftentimes the Church has been highly selective in who is let in, seeing herself as the gatekeeper of Truth, and that those who are considered unorthodox, or doubters, or those whose spiritual ‘faces don’t fit,’ are side-lined from the family of faith.
We see so many places in our world, and even local community, where tribalism shows just how fragmented our society has become. Sadly, this is often reflected in the Church too.
It is true that as those who follow Jesus we hold up a gospel blueprint of how we determine to live our lives – and yes, truth does matter – but Jesus’ vision for His People is to present a reality of the common life which rises above the lazy and simplistic ‘them’ and ‘us’ barriers which divide people.
Rev Dr Jane Leech, speaking on today’s Thought for the Day on BBC Radio 4, said that the focus of our faith is “not on a tribal god who favours people like us, but on the universal God who, in becoming human chose solidarity with the whole human race”. (Italics mine)
Our purpose at The Hub, Beeding then, is to offer a welcome which goes beyond opening the doors to let the community in. Our purpose is to bring a truly radical welcome where we can be, as Jean Vanier says, “a place of belonging, place of sharing, of peace and kindness; a place where no-one needs to defend himself or herself; a place where each one is loved and accepted with one’s own fragility, abilities and disabilities.”
Welcome. Come on in, pull up a chair. We’ve been expecting you.