We were recently on a site where the director was still fairly new in his tenure. He was almost at that point of being able to exercise significant leadership in terms of the direction of the ministry. It occurred to us that the real transition that was pending was that he was ready to move from “guest” to “host.”
When he was first hired, although he was the Executive Director, in many way he was a “guest” of the site. The staff, board and other leaders of the ministry cared for him as they would care for a guest. When you are new to a place, there’s much that you don’t know and you are dependent upon others for many things.
As a guest of the site, he, like more transient guests, was offered a safe place in which to live. Those who had been around for a while helped him get settled in and offered advice about where to find services, like the best local ice cream shop.
As a host, we welcome, serve, and keep others safe.
This is the story of our faith. We are welcomed to be Guests at the table of the Lord, but the story doesn’t stop there. We are sent into the world to be Hosts, those who welcome others and invite them into the Love of God. And when we are faithful to that work, we discover that we again are guests, and are welcomed and cared for.
And our journeys go full circle. As hosts, we are surprised by grace, and once again find ourselves to be guests. We are welcomed, served, and kept safe.