O Great God of Welcome,
You welcomed us into your world – the world you created with care and patience, and the world you declared Good. You created a place for us, created companions animal, male, female, for us. You created us, in your image, and welcomed us into relationship with your very Spirit.
You welcomed your people into hope, delivering them from slavery and captivity. Through fear and uncertainty, through struggle and bondage, you provided manna, leadership, and peace – the gift of enough for each new day.
You welcomed your people into a Promised Land – a land flowing with milk and honey, full of provision, and you welcomed them into Covenant. You welcome us in that same spirit – into new life and new relationship, written on our hearts first. You welcome us by knowing us, intimately, deeply, and in community.
You welcomed your people into challenge. Amidst conflict and injustice, through our own perpetuation of oppression and sinfulness, you welcome us to the challenge of new chances, of changing, of revolution. Welcome us yet again as we seek your Kingdom.
God, you welcome your people into new life, life shaped by love, faith and grace. In the example set through the life of your Son, we know the power of lives guided by love and compassion. May our welcome not just be in word only, but in radical acts of hospitality. God, your welcome is to a life shaped by faith – faith in your hope and your Way. May we say no to the powers of death, and yes to the hospitality of faith.
God, your welcome is a welcome to grace – to acceptance and love. May our church reflect your love, faith and grace as we seek to reflect your kind of Welcome. Change us, welcome us, to be not merely friendly, but deep and abiding friends, called, loved, and welcomed by you.
You have welcomed us into relationship yet again through the gift of your Son. May our hearts, hands, and souls be open to that gift moment by moment. We ask all this in the name of your Son, Amen.