Hi, Aunt Cinny!
By Cindy L. Korf North Platte, NE, USA
May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in harmony with one another, in accordance with Christ Jesus, so that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God. —Romans 15:5–7 NRSV, adapted
My brother lived 12 hours away—so I didn’t visit often. During one visit, his daughter was having a birthday party for her two-year-old son, and she and my brother invited me to come. I agreed to go to the party reluctantly, knowing that I would not know anyone there and would feel out of place among my niece’s neighbors, friends, and in-laws.
When I arrived at my niece’s house, I found I had been correct. The house overflowed with strangers—all visiting, laughing, and sharing together, oblivious to an “old” lady standing in the doorway.
But suddenly a voice called out, “Hi, Aunt Cinny! Hi, Aunt Cinny!” and a small two-year-old boy with a wide grin on his face came toddling over to greet me. He took me by the hand and walked me into the house to his birthday party.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we greeted everyone that stepped through the doors of our churches with the same warmth and love as my nephew greeted me?
Prayer for Peace
Welcoming God, of all the places we can be hospitable, what better place than your house? Of all the places to offer warmth and love, let us offer it in our sanctuaries. Of all the places where all are welcome, let us be a community who shares peace.
Spiritual Practice: Listening to Children
Sit in your quiet place and center your heart and mind in God’s presence. Spend several minutes asking God to bring into your awareness the names and images of children in your life. You may see their faces or hear their voices as you receive these impressions. Listen deeply to the unique gifts and needs of the children who come to mind. Offer a prayer of blessing for each child and the needs you sense. If you feel led, you also may want to write a note or card and give a message of affirmation and love to each child.
Today, God, I will welcome someone as Christ would.