Yesterday, as I was driving home from vacation, I drove past a similar hotel welcome sign. It was the same chain but the text only announced:
We Love Having You With Us.
It caught my attention while I was driving. After all, I had spent the past several days in various locations in the hospitality industry. I am aware of the sense of welcome that these structures create particularly as I had just listened to the concierge look for emergency dental work for one of the guests. Let’s be honest. I’ve done similar things. As a pastor, I’ve made repeated phone calls to find therapists, rent, tuition support and gas money. Actually, the gas money was just this morning after worship. There were no phone calls but I did beg several church members for a few dollars so that a woman in need could get some much needed help.
So, I wonder about this claim made in the hospitality industry. I wonder if the church (and perhaps synagogues and mosques) has become another venue of hospitality. We offer some comfort. We give you a place to rest. We don’t ask you of anything more than paying your bill as we pass the plate. I want to believe that people of faith yearn for more but I’m not sure that we’re truly offering more than a hotel might. I wonder.