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Love the guest is on the way

The Rev. Rainey Dankel
December 6, 2018

As part of our Advent worship, we sing about preparing for the coming of the Christ Child:

"People, look East.  The time is near
of the crowning of the year. 

Make your house fair as you are able,
trim the hearth and set the table. 

People look East and sing today:
Love the guest is on the way."


We are busy at church and in our homes, making all the preparations for a glorious celebration of the Nativity.


Last Saturday, some 80 parishioners gathered to think about an important concept for Advent and, indeed, for all of our life together. The Rev. Stephanie Spellers led us in a workshop on “Radical Welcome.”  We thought about the ways in which we do or do not welcome “others” into our midst. 


It’s not just an issue for ushers and greeters.  It’s an issue for all of us, to think about ways in which we signal that “All are Welcome,” not just to come inside the building, but to be part of the life of Trinity Church, in its worship, its ministries, its leadership, its witness.


Stephanie urged us to look at ourselves “from the outside,” through the eyes of one who does not feel part of this church on Copley Square.  How do “others” know that they are welcome?  What is a “way in” for them?  What is a “way out” for us that might bring a new awareness of our neighbors? How do we witness to the welcoming love of Jesus, who is always crossing boundaries?  And how are we transformed by receiving the guest?


In the next few weeks, many people are coming to Trinity, perhaps for the first time or as a yearly experience with family and friends. You, the people of Trinity who are sitting with them in the pews, will make the greatest impression on them of what this community is truly about.  How can you take an active part in extending welcome and in receiving “Love, the guest”?  By exchanging a greeting, leaving a vacant seat beside you for a visitor, helping someone find the restroom, showing a newcomer a page in the hymnal—these are small gestures that say we notice and care about each other, that we’re glad they’re here with us.


“Love, the guest, is on the way.”  Let’s be ready to welcome the guest.


Faithfully and fondly,




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