Devotions from James Smith’s book, The Good and the Beautiful Life
Living in the kingdom of God involves loving others, because He is a God of love. Living in God’s kingdom involves forgiveness because he is a God of forgiveness. Living in God’s kingdom involves hospitality – inviting and including others – because He is a God of Hospitality. God cares about people who are left out and His kingdom is inclusive, not like the world that is exclusive. The Beatitudes show how Jesus invited marginalized people into the kingdom and hospitality can help us practice this aspect of his kingdom. Sometimes it makes us a bit uncomfortable and we feel vulnerable but we all need to reach out of our comfort zone and intentionally connect with someone who is “different” in our eyes. We need to be aware of the people around us and practice really listening to them. We can do a small act of preparation that shows people we care too… like setting a lovely table with candle light or preparing to receive others by shoveling a walk. It is important to make room for others….for example even simple things like putting down a book to listen to one who is speaking to us. The Lord can help us become better at welcoming others into our group of friends. Some may really want to spend time with us, but feel uninvited. God’s kingdom is so big and so diverse and let us not be exclusive. I know it has meant a lot to Al and me that we have been so warmly received at our new church.