I love the importance Charles de Foucault attaches to living with rather than for the deprived communities in which he immersed himself. It seems to me that this is something we, the church, are very good at paying lip service to, but terribly bad at really doing.
We talk a lot about inviting people – inviting our friends and neighbours to our Christmas services, putting on “outreach” events to invite people to. But there is something vitally important in accepting the hospitality of others, as well as offering hospitality ourselves. Perhaps it is more comfortable to play the host, than to accept the strange ministry of being a guest – of just ‘being’ in an environment which is not ours, of graciously accepting what others provide.
In the incarnation, Jesus doesn’t invite us into something of his own, but enters our world, on our terms, to meet us where we can see and accept who he truly is, and who we really are in his presence. I wonder what we can learn from his example about the ministry of being a gracious guest?
This year for Advent Book Club we are reading “Unearthly Beauty” by Magdalen Smith. Join in on Facebook or Twitter using #AdventBookClub.