Tag Archives: welcome

There Is Room in the Inn!

fence-978138_1280

“There Is Room in the Inn. Hallelujah!”

Our new government has responded to the refugee crisis with a promise to bring in 25,000 people by the end of 2015. Our country is huge; we have room. Still, with our small population, assimilating so many so quickly will be a monumental task.

Complicating the task is “fear.” When this many people from a war-torn region come all at once, they could bring terrorism with them. How can we be sure that ISIS hasn’t embedded a suicide bomber among these 25,000 desperate people? Of course, we can’t be certain. Our government security people will do their best, but there are no guarantees.

A friend answered this fear with, “What makes any one of us think that terrorists are not already here? Just because your neighbor looks Anglo-Saxon, or says he’s a Christian, or was born in Canada, he or she could still be a terrorist. We have had a perfect demonstration of that reality right here in our city. The Peterborough Mosque, the place of worship for our city’s Muslims, was set afire by one among us. That person committed an act of “overt terrorism.” What other name can we give it?

I celebrate the fact that most of us are setting aside the fear that breeds violence, hatred, prejudice. I celebrate the fact that we have the courage to open our hearts to so many desperate people. I believe that God is celebrating with us. As individuals, as a nation and as the world, we are reaching out in love. As you prepare for Christmas this year, know that there is room in Canada’s inn. Thanks be to God.

“And Mary brought forth her first born son, wrapped him in cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room in the inn.” (Luke 2:7)

 

 

Welcome Home

hugs

This year as Mothers’ Day approaches, Robert Munsch’s poem keeps running in my mind, “I’ll love you forever. I’ll love you for always. As long as I’m living, your mother I’ll be.” Our role as Mom continues as it changes over the years.

A month ago, my oldest grandson moved to Vancouver to begin a new life as an adult. My daughter shared, “I love receiving one line texts from Chris. I understand now what it’s like to have your child grow up and move away.” I nodded and thought about son, Dave and his family in Ethiopia. Even when being Mom of adult children brings challenges, I treasure the privilege.

joy-284528_1920

I remember being filled with wonder as my children returned home as young adults at the end of their first year at university. Lively conversation entertained us at our dinner table. I was proud and happy. By Mother’s Day two or three weeks later, the edges of that joy had frayed a little. This new adult, who had experienced eight months of total freedom from mother’s concerns, questions, advice introduced a new challenge to motherhood. Divorce, job loss, sickness, grief, and more drive adult children home to live, not just for the summer, but sometimes for years.

The challenges of motherhood keep changing. The continuous process of letting go requires the love described in 1 Corinthians 13, “Love is patient. Love is kind… It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” This Mothers’ Day, I offer the following prayer for families at every stage in a child’s development.

“Loving God, you created us to live in relationship because you know we need one another. Turn our minds and hearts to seek out and savour the moments of joy in every phase of our lives together. When tough times come, help us soak in your wisdom, patience and strength. Enable us to let go when necessary and to gather in and comfort when needed. Help us to let go of the guilt from past mistakes and begin each day anew. We want to love well. We want our relationships to be healthy. Help us to remember that with you there is hope. You are always with us, wanting and planning a future filled with joy and laughter. Amen”

 

 

Why Share Our Beautiful Country?

Hello Everyone,

First of all I do apologize for not including my email address when I asked you to contact me about your subscription. Thank you to those of you who knew my address and replied. I have now learned that since you had to subscribe to be on my list in the first place, you are already covered for the new anti-spam legislation. Also I cannot remove you from my subscription list. Therefore today I am sending out my reflection as usual to all of my subscribers. If you no longer wish to receive these reflections, please unsubscribe. If you have any questions please contact me using my new author’s email address:
info@janetstobie.com

 

Why Share Our Beautiful Country

By Janet Stobie

Canadian Mosaic
Canadian Mosaic

We’ve just celebrated Canada Day. To my mind, we live in the best country in the world. Beginning with the wealth of beauty and resources that come with this vast land and ending with our people, with all our faults, we live in peace and harmony with one another. We are truly blessed.

This past spring, I helped our grandson with a school essay about the issue of immigration to our country. He had done research so that he could argue both for and against immigration from the perspective of experts in the field. His final section required his own opinion about our Canadian mosaic that is so proudly projected by our government.

Tim compared our country to that of a living ecosystem.  He talked of the necessity for variety, and the interdependent relationships that exist in order for the ecosystem to continue. His metaphor illustrated the tremendous treasure immigrants can be for our country. Then he spoke about how Canadians are blessed by giving people the opportunity to begin a new life in Canada. He gets it, I thought. My grandson understands the true value of hospitality, the true wonder of this beautiful country we call Canada.

With all our faults as a nation and as individuals, most Canadians know that our freedom and peace are gifts to be shared with the world. We complain about our taxes, even as we send our children off to school knowing we have an educational system that is accessible to all of our people. We wait in the hospital emergency room, knowing we’ll not have to mortgage our home to pay the bill. We choose to play golf on Sunday morning secure in the knowledge that others can worship as they choose without fear.

Today and every day I give thanks to God that I live in Canada. I believe this blessing is a gift to be shared not hoarded, for the Bible tells us that blessings rot and decay in storage.

 

Exodus 16

“And when they measured it by the omer, the one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little. Everyone had gathered just as much as they needed.Then Moses said to them, “No one is to keep any of it until morning.” However, some of them paid no attention to Moses; they kept part of it until morning, but it was full of maggots and began to smell. (Exodus 16:18-20

Hospitality

In our land of abundance, “No one will ever leave our home hungry,” is often a family tradition. In many places, hospitality can mean the difference between life and death, physically or emotionally. Visitors to the poorest nations are amazed by the generous sharing of food that often leaves the host family hungry. Regularly, foreign guests are offered lodging in dwellings already overcrowded.
The Bible speaks about the importance of hospitality. Like the word hospital, hospitality comes from the Latin word for healing. Much of the time, as hosts, we are unaware of the healing that our guests need. We welcome friends and family, sometimes feeling like Martha, overworked, hurried, glad to see our guests and already wondering exactly when they will leave.
Today, I offer you another way. From the moment you know they are coming, whether months before, or as you hear the knock on the door, wrap your guests in prayer.
• Ask God, not only for a safe journey to and from your home, but also for joy along the way. Pray that their eyes, ears and hearts will be open to glimpses of God’s Kingdom.
• Prepare their room with prayer for restful sleep. Fill the room with loving thoughts.
• Focus on your good memories with them, and good experiences you hope to have as you prepare the food you will share.
• Give God thanks for the gift of their visit each morning as you wake and each night as go to sleep.
• As they leave, ask for God’s blessing upon their lives not just for the return journey, but always.
Wrapping your guests in prayer will ensure that you offer them an experience of healing. That is true Biblical hospitality.
“Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” (1Peter 4:9-10)