Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Do You Believe in Hospitality?

Not only do I believe in hospitality; heck, I’ve even seen it!

Okay, you probably recognize this rather bland “borrowing” of Mark Twain’s reply when he was asked if he believes in baptism. (Twain was a bit spicier.)

The most recent time I saw hospitality was this past weekend (Pentecost Sunday weekend) when my family and I worshiped in a wonderful EKD Lutheran parish in Einollen, Germany, where Iris Schmitt is the pastor. Iris and I met as students at the Ecumenical Institute de Bossey in Celigny, Switzerland, eleven years ago; Janice and I have remained good friends with her.

So here we were, English-speakers in the midst of roughly 45 German-speaking worshippers in a quaint sanctuary. As we were deciding on where to sit, a worshipper noticed the small camera in my hand; right away, he and his children made room for us to be in a good position to take pictures.

The service began. Not only had Iris woven English into the readings, the women’s choir sand two songs with English verses.

After the service, worshippers thanked us for coming and wished us a good remaining visit. There were other examples, but you get the idea.

Hospitality – I’ve seen it. Have you?

Lots of hope,