“Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. . . . “and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple-truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.” Matthew 10:40-42
(Just in case one or two of you missed it, this reading is from the gospel for the last Sunday in June.) Jesus’ words remind me of driving across the Dakotas last summer. If you’ve never made the trip across South Dakota, one of the things you’ve missed is the many signs for a little place called Wall Drug. For many years now travelers across the dusty plain have been enticed by a simple promise: “Free Ice Water” Such a simple thing, but for years people have stopped to get a cool drink, and shop, and eat, and stay, until the little town of Wall, South Dakota has grown into a fair sized attraction (by South Dakota standards).
Such a simple gesture Jesus says is so very important. For the Christian, to welcome the ‘little ones’, the traveler, the outsider or to tend to the needs of the hungry, the lonesome and the lost, is not some ‘extra thing’ which we might occasionally do, rather it is the very place where Jesus promises to meet us.
It is easy to become complacent during the long summer days. It’s easier not to make any effort. But sometimes just the simple act, of providing a welcoming smile, a hand shake, a cup of water (or coffee?) can change someone’s day. It might provide the opportunity for greater things to be shared. Better yet, it might give us a chance to glimpse the presence of Jesus in unexpected places.
Pastor John Twiton