Well, as my time here in Pearland comes to a close, I just want to say how much of a blessing it has been to work here and to become a part of this church family for the summer. Before I came to Pearland, I did not know what to expect. There were so many question marks in my mind. I didn’t know how the youth group would respond to me and how the church as a whole would respond to me. But from the moment that I entered the building, I was graciously welcomed by so many of you that it was a bit overwhelming at first. And it is this hospitality that you have showed me that has really made an impact on me.We see several examples in the Bible where hospitality is shown. Genesis 19:1-3 says, “The two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them and bowed himself with his face to the earth 2 and said, “My lords, please turn aside to your servant’s house and spend the night and wash your feet. Then you may rise up early and go on your way.” They said, “No; we will spend the night in the town square.” 3 But he pressed them strongly; so they turned aside to him and entered his house. And he made them a feast and baked unleavened bread, and they ate.” It is unclear if Lot knew that the two men were angels at the beginning, but the main point here is that not only did he welcome them into his house, but he also fed and took care of them. Being hospitable was so important that when some men of the city came to Lot’s house to have relations with the visitors, Lot offered his own daughters to the men instead (Genesis 19:8).
In 1 Peter 4:9, Peter writes, “9 Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.” Not only did Lot ask them to stay with him, but when they turned down his offer, it says that Lot strongly pressed them. Lot certainly did not grumble, when he showed hospitality. This is one of the many traits that I have seen, not only from the youth, but from the church as well. It is this hospitality and sense of family that I have felt that is encouraging and helping me to become the minister that God wants me to be.
From taking the teens to Bay Area Wide Devotionals, to spending the afternoon at the Golden Agers Luncheon, you have shown God’s love to me time and time again. I am so grateful to have been able to learn from DC and Paul about what ministry truly is about, and I am so thankful for the exceptional leadership of the elders and deacons. I am so excited to see the direction that this congregation is headed, and I know that this body will be a light to the community not only here in Pearland, but to other parts of the world!
As I come to a close, I want to share with you a final passage. “Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain” (Philippians 2:14-16).
Grace and Peace,