Jamey's Newsletter: Sunday, November 27, 2022
Years ago, my family and I and another group were hanging out at a homeless shelter in downtown Atlanta. My children were young at the time. We talked to the residents and made new friends. My son, Jaden, around six years old, had befriended this little boy around the same age. They were playing together and having a good time.
The boy had arrived at the shelter with his mom after living for a week in their car, escaping an abusive relationship. Jaden suddenly came over and said, "Dad, did you know I had a cousin here?" I said what do you mean? He said, "The boy I am playing with keeps calling me cuz." And then, with a sense of pride, they wrap their arms around one another, and Jaden says, "We are family!"
Hospitality is choosing to be with people like God has chosen to be with us - thoroughly and sacrificially.
Yes, being welcoming is an interruption. It interrupts our daily routine. It is inconvenient. But if you think about it, much good in your life has come from being interrupted. We would not be where we are if God did not interrupt us with new life. So being hospitable is being open to the interruptions of grace.
Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it." - Hebrews 13:2
Being welcoming starts with intentionally choosing to act with kindness towards others.
How will you demonstrate a welcoming approach to life this week?
Prayer of the week
Lord, I know I am supposed to see you in the face of the stranger, but if I am honest, I would like to remain a stranger instead. Have you seen my to-do list? I don't have time to be interrupted. Besides, politicians tell me I am supposed to fear the stranger. How can I fear the stranger when I am looking for you through their eyes?
Lord, I need your help if I am going to create space in my heart and life to be welcoming of others. Lord, I will need a dose of grace if you expect me to approach the world lovingly. There might be angels ready to be entertained, but I will need new eyes to see. Amen.
Rev. Joshua Hudson preaching
Pre-recorded online worship from Gainesville First UMC, Gainesville, Georgia
Everyone has a favorite dessert, side dish, or main course for Christmas. So why keep it to yourself? Share it below, and I will include it in my newsletter during December. Make sure you sign your name at the end of the recipe. We want to celebrate those special meals together.
Matching Christmas pajamas, reading the Christmas story, going Christmas caroling, and watching the movie Elf. Everyone has a favorite Christmas tradition. So why not share it with us and inspire someone to start a new tradition? Share below a brief description of your favorite Christmas tradition and sign your name.
Meme of the Week
What do you call a snowman with a six-pack? An abdominal snowman!
What do reindeer say before they tell you a joke? This one’s gonna sleigh you!
(Got a Dad joke? Don’t be a chicken….share it!)
Photo of the Week (Photos taken by me)
Book I am Reading This Week
INTERESTING ARTICLES, PODCASTS, OR VIDEOS FROM THE WEEK
Happening at Gainesville First United Methodist Church
Friday, December 2 / 7:30pm / Sanctuary
Ring in the holiday season with The Lanier Chamber Singers for their annual Christmas concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday, December 2. Performance highlights include familiar carols, traditional seasonal favorites, and John Rutter’s Gloria for choir, organ, brass and percussion. Tickets are $15 in advance online at www.lanierchambersingers.com and $20 at the door.
Happening Around North Georgia
Have you always wanted to be in a parade? Here is your chance. On Sunday, December 4, 3:00 - 6:00pm the Gainesville community will kick-off the season with the annual tradition of Christmas on Green Street. Float prep starts at 3pm, the parade starts at 4pm.
Weekly Blessing and/or Quotes
My Crown is in my heart, not on my head:
Not deck'd with Diamonds, and Indian stones:
Nor to be seen: my Crown is call'd Content,
A Crown it is, that seldom Kings enjoy.
― William Shakespeare