“Welcome” makes you feel at home.
“Welcome” gives you the encouragement of belonging.
“Welcome” greets you at the front door.
“Welcome” invites you in and embraces you with a friendly, “Hello.”
That’s why this old pandemic is such a drag these days. It’s not welcome. It’s very presence makes all of us skittish and leery of anything outside our immediate family circle. It is really hard to live with a pandemic when you love that word “WELCOME.”
“Welcome” is a Bible word. Jesus said about all those people, he called them sheep, who were gathered on His right hand in the coming judgment, “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was imprisoned and you came to me…Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even to the least of them, you did it to Me.” (Matthew 25:35,40)
Think about that. The first word you will hear when you get to heaven is, “WELCOME.”
During the days when Thomas Jefferson was president of our country, he and a few of his companions began a journey on horseback. A few hours into their travel, they came to a river swollen out of its banks by a terrible thunderstorm that had passed by. Rather than turn back, the group decided to try and cross the river against the life-threatening current. One by one the men plunged into the river fighting for their lives against the waters until they reached the other side.
One man had chosen to wait and see how the others did in their crossing before he attempted to cross himself. President Jefferson waited with him as the man who was terrified asked, “Will you ferry me across.”
The President smiled and said, “Sure.”
When they arrived safely on the other side, one of the men asked that man why he had asked the President of the United States to risk his life by carrying the weight of another person into hazardous waters.
The man said, “Oh, I did not know he was the President, but when I looked into your faces, the message I saw was “No,” but when I looked into his face the answer was “Yes.”
“WELCOME” wears a “yes” face. That’s what we need these days. We need to see more “yes” faces like Jesus wears for everyone who needs him to carry their load, ride with them through heavy waters or give abundant compassion and care for every sickness.
Is this not the “WELCOME” our whole nation needs to hear right now: “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and My burden in light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
Jesus says “Yes” and “Welcome” to everyone who comes to Him. Put on your “Yes” face and “Welcome” people in the name of Jesus. Say it with me to somebody right now, “YOU ARE WELCOME.”
Doesn’t that feel great?