“I’m so glad I’m an AMERICAN!”
A man I have never met before sauntered into the sauna at Lifetime Fitness, looked me in the eye, and said those words in a boasting, sort of challenging way.
It was so jarring that I sort of just looked at him and gave him a halfway smile.
He went on to talk about how he works with a lot of people who aren’t born here in the U.S.A., but boy is he glad to be an AMERICAN!
After he walked out of the sauna, I was thinking about his words. I would agree with him that I am grateful that I was blessed to be born where I was born. But I’m also so grateful that our nation, our state, our city, and our church gets to welcome people born in other nations!
Every Thursday night, we open our home and welcome friends to come in, to eat together, to pray for each other, and to discuss the holy Scriptures. Last night, we had the privilege of welcoming a man into our home who was born in South Africa. We welcomed him and his wife and two month old baby to our table and into our fellowship and community. We discussed the Scriptures and how to live out the commands of Jesus. We shared our prayer needs. We broke bread.
It was a holy moment that was also chaotic (we all have a whole mess of little kids!), fun, and refreshing to the soul.
3 years ago we were blessed to have a couple born in Brazil in our small group. 2 years ago we were blessed to have a man born in Nepal in our group. They are all still a beautiful part of the MOSAIC that makes up our church; they are just doing life in different circles (small groups).
I love that our church is a beautiful MOSAIC of different broken, imperfect people, from different cultures and different backgrounds. We have baptists, charismatics, lutherans, and catholics all coming together to learn what it means to LOVE God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. We are learning together what it means to love and SERVE those who are both near to us and far from us culturally. We are learning what it means to be a disciple/follower of Jesus: to KNOW Jesus, to BE like Jesus, and to DO that things that Jesus did.
It’s not perfect but I’m so glad that everyone is welcome at the Table. And no matter where we were born or how we were raised, what we have done or what has been done to us, we are journeying together to follow Jesus, as citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven.