Many churches across the land have homecoming Sundays in the first week of September – presumably to welcome back those who have been away on vacations and other kinds of activities to relax and recharge. We have changed this and now call it Open House Sunday. We encourage our folks to bring new people and families to church to receive the same spiritual benefit that we all enjoy at Christ Church and to learn about our partners in outreach and mission.

So, right now, please take a moment to think of somebody at work or in your neighborhood you believe would join you in church on Open House Sunday if invited. Most of us think of hospitality as a custom of feeding family, friends, and neighbors in our homes or hosting people for a night or two. The writers of the New Testament have a totally different definition of hospitality. Ancient customs of hospitality involved the practice of welcoming strangers or travelers into one’s home while promising to provide them with spiritual provision and material protection.

The Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts are teeming with examples of Jesus’ teaching to practice hospitality by inviting neighbors, acquaintances, or even strangers into their circle of care. It is for this reason that we have renamed Homecoming Sunday as Open House Sunday, in the hopes that you will think of someone or some family that will benefit from the spiritual riches of our worshipping community.

Get your nametags ready to receive these whom Jesus commissions us to invite to share new life in His name!