As a little girl, I remember going to my mother’s parents for Christmas. The house was filled with family: my plump, white haired great-grandmother sitting in the kitchen, my aunts and uncles all over the place, and lots of my cousins everywhere. We were welcomed with noisy love and warmth. When we would go to my father’s parents for Christmas, it was much quieter: my grandparents, my parents, my brother, my great uncle, and my slim, gray haired great grandmother sitting in her chair in the living room. We were welcomed into a home filled with a quiet love of hugs, kisses and tender talks. These are my most precious memories, different but the same: Welcome and love flowed through these homes.
Everyone needs to feel welcomed when they come through a door. It doesn’t matter if it’s a home, a business, a place of worship or an office. Here at church, we need to be very aware of how we welcome everyone into our building. As Romans 15:7 says, “Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you.” At Christmas we have people welcoming, opening the outside doors and handing out candles at the doors leading into worship. These actions make people feel welcomed, but what if we can start making people feel welcomed before they even get to the doors of our church. We can help them find a parking space, lend a helping hand as they get out of their cars or with small children. We can walk them to the doors to help them in, and if they are visitors introduce them to our inside greeters who can help them, if needed, find the nursery and then introduce our visitors to a zone greeter who can help them get settled into a pew and introduce them to others around them. Would not that make you feel welcomed? This makes me so excited to think we can make this happen. I can’t do it all by myself though or even with a few others; we need lots of help to make this
This Christmas Eve would be a great opportunity for you to help out at the doors of church helping people feel welcomed. At all the worship services, we will need people to help between the doors opening them for those coming into church, we will need people to hand out candles at all four doors and of course ushers, readers, bread bakers, communion servers, acolytes and nursery helpers. There are so many ways we can make those who come to worship Christmas Eve and Christmas Day feel welcomed here.