Tony Campolo tells a story. (It’s dated of course, because it’s been 20 years since we could wait at the gate to welcome arriving passengers but it still doesn’t distract from what he’s illustrating.) His story is about when he was getting on a plane. As he was waiting, there was this little girl, she must have been about three years old, cute as could be. She had on one of those little dresses that spreads out all over the place and pigtails and she was jumping up and down yelling, “We’re going to see Daddy, we’re going to see Daddy!” And they got on the plane, it was one of those small commuter flights and just about half hour of flying time. They didn’t serve a meal, they did something worse — they gave out Coke and cookies. This little girl kept on eating cookies and drinking Coke and having more Coke and more cookies and more and more. The mother should have known better. What got worse, it was a rough flight.  About 10 before landing the little. She got sick to her stomach and was covered with throw up. When Campolo got off the plane, and, just at the door, there was her father looking down and waiting. Campolo lingered. He wanted to see what the Daddy would do to vomit-covered kid.  What happened next was incredible. The Dad ran to her, gathered up this vomit-covered kid, hugged her and kissed her and said to his wife, “I’ll meet you at the baggage claim. I just want to spend some time with my little girl.”
Campolo then shares an insight and writes, “The truth of the matter it’s not how you come to God today, God will in no way cast you out, that Scriptural. I don’t care what you’ve done and how much throw up is in your life, we’ve got a God who’s waiting for us.”

Scripture Reading: Romans 16:2
“So that you may welcome her in the Lord as is fitting for the saints, and help her in whatever she may require from you, for she has been a helper of many and of myself as well.”

Reflection Questions:
How are you helping others?
What is your definition of hospitality?
How have you experienced the unconditional love of God?

Prayer: Holy God, deepen my gift of hospitality as I serve those who come and go in my life and let my actions be helpful in ways that show who I am.  Amen.

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