Coco Calling: No. 60 - Feeling Welcome
The random thoughts of a Christian parrot
If a new human visits our house, and I feel comfortable with them, I usually lift and then open my wings out. It’s a kind of warm parrot welcome which is intended to say that “I like you and trust you.”
The world is full of “strangers” who want to feel both welcome and wanted. And in parts of the Czech Republic, many humans still practise the particularly nice custom of laying an extra place at the family dinner table, just in case someone should turn up at the door.
And it can be quite daunting when we enter a place without knowing anyone else there. Such as the day I first came home with my human owner. A first day at school or university. Starting a new job. Or walking into a church for the very first time. In all of these situations, a genuine, warm welcome is something very precious.
Welcoming strangers is a part of Christian love. It breaks down division and barriers of distrust. It achieves unity and common ground. When the radio is on, I often hear about the troubles between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if somehow, they could reach out to one another…… Shake hands…... Invite one another into their homes…… And build bridges instead of walls…….
Jesus reminds us that when we make the effort to welcome someone, even when they may seem insignificant or even worthless to us, we are in fact welcoming Him into our lives……
“And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes Me.” (Matthew 18:5).
Over the next few days, many of us will have an opportunity to make someone feel welcome. Are we going to seize the chance when it arrives?
Simon Peter describes how good Christians “…..will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” (2Peter 1:11)