If you have been following my articles for the past while, you will know I have been talking about words that begin with each letter of the alphabet. These are not just any words, but words that can help us grow in our relationship with God and also help us encourage those around us. If you have been following along, you have probably gotten to this point in our alphabet and thought, “I wonder where our pastor will go with the final three letters.” That would be a natural thought because these are the hardest letters of the alphabet to find encouraging and challenging words for the Christian.

Thankfully, we have google which helped me with this week’s letter. The letter I am going to focus on is “X” and the word I want to look at is the word “xenial”. Have you ever heard of this word? If so, then you know the word means “hospitable or friendly.” I really find it hard to think of anything the Christian needs to be more than friendly. The definition even goes deeper while saying xenial means to be hospitable to strangers or foreigners.

As I read the definition, my heart was immediately thankful for the decision of CVBC to host the Welcome House. It is a symbol of love and acceptance for those who are looking for refuge and shelter. I can’t imagine the feeling of not having a place to sleep, or stay warm or have food. It really is hard to imagine, if you are a stranger in a land, where you know no one. The trust you have to have and the faith you have to exhibit to accept what is given is amazing.

The other side of this is true as well. To be able to offer strangers and those from a foreign land a place to live and stay while their lives are attempted to be put in order is indeed a show of love and acceptance. It is an act of hospitality, an act of xenial. This idea of being hospitable to those who are looking for love and acceptance is not a new idea. As a matter of fact, Jesus talked about it in a very familiar verse of scripture in Matthew 25:40. Jesus taught, “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’” It is the ultimate teaching of xenial. If you see someone who is hurting, be friendly and hospitable toward them, as Jesus would. For when we help those who are hurting, we are in fact helping Jesus. We are the hands and feet of Jesus to those people.

We are all journeying on the same path. This earthly place is not our final home. But while we are here, while we are journeying, we need to try and make it as good as it can be. One way of doing this is to practice being xenial, hospitable and friendly with one another. Until next week…

Peace and Blessings…