Dear friends,

Well, I have been here in Bo’ness for over a year, and what a year it has been! 

One of the things we have been looking at in the last few weeks is the gift of Hospitality. Hospitality is so much more then inviting friends for dinner. It is, rather, making space for others to be, rather than asserting ourselves. This is easy when it is folks we like, trust and agree with. Not so easy when the opposite is the case – nevertheless, these are the people that help us grow. There is a proverb that states “iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend” (proverbs 27:17), and we sharpen and hone one another if we allow God, our “great sharpener”, to work in us in our conflicts. That involves exercising Hospitality; allowing others to draw near to us, preferring one another, taking the lower place, being deliberately kind, even when we find them offensive. Tough to do, for sure, but it is a very important Spiritual Gift; and make no mistake, it is a spiritual gift (Romans 12:6-13), which means we can ask God to give it to us then step out in faith and do it.

When the Love of God is profoundly present among us, then people are drawn, they stay, and they come to know and follow Jesus for themselves. Love and kindness is what draws people to Christ, and helps them to feel they belong, and so stay. This is our Great Commission and our primary purpose as a church in the town.

May God bless you and keep you.

In Jesus, Graham.

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