Today’s reflection is from the Rev. Dr. Paul Reiter, Spiritual Director

Last week I shared a bit about my journey in coming to understand what it means to do justice. What I didn’t say was how my own family’s practice of hospitality made me aware of the inclusion that was practiced in my home. Persons from Ecuador, Columbia and Cuba would join us for dinner. African American workers from the post office would come and attend my sister’s wedding. But I also was aware of how many folks I knew did not share the same values. Comments were floated at my sisters and me when we would befriend Jewish children in our neighborhood. Most of my life I have been aware of the privilege I enjoyed – economically and socially.
Recently, when I saw the Black family in Aurora, CO forced to lie on the street while police investigated a possible car theft, and the terror in the face of the youngest child, I grimaced. I have been reading our denominations web site on what it means to be a Matthew 25 church, and discovered that there were three things we can do as a church: Build congregational vitality, Dismantle structural racism, and Eradicate systemic poverty. I was excited when the Justice Ministry Team of the church suggested that we all have an opportunity to learn more about these by studying together. We are going to spend time in the coming months learning about these issues. We would also like to invite you to take some time and be a part of taking the 21-Day Racial Justice Challenge.  The challenge invites us to do something every day to raise awareness about the harmfulness of racism and encourage action in response to that awareness. The Presbyterian Church has joined several nonprofits, organizations and school systems in adapting the challenge for our use.
I hope you will give some prayerful consideration to joining us as we learn and grow together. We can grow in our awareness of the ways we can become a more inclusive church family. For me it started with hospitality at the dinner table.

Scripture Reading: Galatians 3:26-28
“For in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith. As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves in Christ. There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male or female. For all are one in Christ Jesus.”

Reflection Questions:
What keeps us from seeing one another as equals?
What are some ways I can bridge the divide?
Who is someone that would benefit from my hospitality?

Prayer: Loving God, give me a willing spirit to welcome the stranger that may come my way. May I be one who shares your hospitality as I grow in your grace. Amen.

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