June 28, 2020

Practice Radical Hospitality
Bradenton-Sarasota Congregation
June 28, 2020

In preparation for worship, listen to Eden’s Bridge sing an upbeat song to get you to “picture” the Lord wherever you are and in whatever you do:

Picture Me by Eden’s Bridge

Prayer for Peace

Gracious God, as we center our thoughts on you, our Creator, we are made aware of the injustice and oppression of people and the waste of Earth’s resources. We hear the cry of the people, the long, lost look on the faces of children who stand waiting, waiting for a cool drink of water, for bread to eat, for knowledge to fill their souls.

We hear the people of the world and nations cry out for peace and justice. We hear the empty promises of heads of state saying, “Peace on Earth; good will toward all.” Eternal God, help us to see our choices clearly, help us not to rush to judgement. Open our eyes to see those in need. Let us embrace the gifts that others offer in building your peaceable kingdom.

We pray for peace and justice among all people in all nations. We pray that the people of all nations work together to build your peace. We pray that we will see Christ in every soul. May our purpose be your purpose. Show us, Eternal God, the way of your Son. Show us peace; help us understand how we become instruments of your peace that we may share in transforming lives.

The world awaits the words we pray. Grant us courage to practice peace each day. Amen.
—Jerry Scranton

Scripture ReadingMatthew 10:40-42

“Anyone who welcomes you welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. Whoever welcomes a prophet as a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever welcomes a righteous person as a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward. And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.”

Message: “Christ-like Hospitality” by Elder Jim Deering

Fifty years ago this month I learned my first and most important lesson in hospitality as Christ would see it. My first wife and I had just been baptized the summer before and now we found ourselves in a challenging situation.

It was the summer of 1970 and campus upheaval had closed most of the universities. The Kent State university shootings had a great affect on universities everywhere. We decided to drop out of college at Ohio University and work for a year to save money to go back. We both got jobs near Kirtland, Ohio and found a house (if you could call it that) to rent in Kirtland.

The congregation wasted no time in asking us to be youth group leaders, and between the jobs and church activities, we were busy. We had made friends with an “older couple” in the congregation (they must have been at least 45!) One was a school principal and the other a teacher.

They were everything the gospel of Mathew talks about in reference to hospitality. I look back now and I am embarrassed at how often we spent evenings there. They were our “go to” people whenever we had questions about how to lead the youth. I NEVER saw a sign of exasperation or boredom with our company. We were always welcomed and often invited for dinner.

I have yet, now, fifty years later, ever found myself living up to their example. The wife passed on a number of years ago, but the husband just celebrated his 99th birthday. In the book of Matthew we read that Jesus felt compelled to teach his followers to understand the ministry of hospitality. Knowing how to receive it and how to give it is an important lesson for us all.
Let us pause this day and remember those who have given it to us and find new ways to bless others with the gift of Christ’s hospitality.

To confirm the testimony Jim provided, enjoy Matthew West’s Do Something.

Sending Forth –  Doctrine and Covenants 162:7d

“The call to respond is urgent. Look to the needs of your own congregations, but look also beyond your walls to the far-flung places where the church must go. Each disciple needs a spiritual home. You are called to build that home and care for it, but also to share equally in the outreaching ministries of the church. In that way the gospel may be sent to other souls also yearning for a spiritual resting place.”

This service was prepared by Sherry Lindgren and Jim Deering.