"Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.” Mark 9:37
The welcome we received was quiet at the Sanctuary Center. There was no one there to greet us when we arrived. It was the trees and the path, the simple building with a restroom and sharing library that first received us. The map showed us where we might want to explore and welcomed us to this place.
The generosity of those who donated the land, keep it accessible and care for it allowed us to take time to walk the labyrinth, sit and enjoy the view, and walk along the paths. We were welcomed into the quiet.
Several hours later when we arrived at camp we received another welcome from Nathan, Jordan, Ben and three camp dogs at Rainbow Trail. The welcome of the weekend included singing, campfires, high ropes, low ropes, archery and delicious food. We were all welcomed to the Lord's table and we welcomed one another in prayer and conversation.
Next year on the same weekend, the third weekend in September, we will have a congregational retreat at RTLC September 13-15, 2019. I would like to invite you and I hope you will consider attending. Nature has a beautiful way of speaking God’s grace to us.
When Jesus places a child in the midst of his followers he tells them that to welcome one such child in his name is to welcome him and the one who sent him. I am reminded of how RTLC has welcomed so many children and adults. It’s the both/and of the beauty of nature and roar of singing, playing, and worship that often is very lively that provides another experience of God’s grace. Check out the Grace Race information on the home page of our website for another way to be in the great outdoors that also benefits those who are hungry.
This week as you reflect on times and places where you have been welcomed I also invite you to consider how you are being called to welcome others? Join us in worship this weekend- you are welcome and invited- as we together explore both the receiving and sharing of the welcome of Jesus.