The Welcome Mat
The truth is, the welcome mat, not as the welcome mat is intended for, isn’t always put out. Sometimes the welcome mat is one that leaves with decisions to make in whether we want to enter into this persons space, or maybe NOT!
The factoid is, we won’t always feel welcome here on earth. Some people will let us in, some won’t. Some people will have the pretense of letting us in, but they really don’t. Some, they’ll let us in, pick us to pieces and when they are done, they’ll spit out us out.
Friend, Acquaintance, Co-Worker, Church Neighbor
Part of the problem in society today is we are so quick to call someone a friend. We don’t any longer really examine friendships, let alone who we are going to date, or marry. We’ve become a society of disposable commitments. Which waters down commitment to just being an ever changing preference.
We end up with options like that above because we are to quick to jump in with both feet without testing the waters. We think this person one way, but when they turn out to be another, we’re disappointed. We believe a relationship is just that, when we realize we really didn’t take the time to know the person, and we are ready to end what we said was forever and always.
What does the mat have to do with it all?
Let me put it this way. We wouldn’t be on this sort of welcome mat in the first place if we’d examine things a bit more before proceeding. For instance… I’ve learned, and it’s taken me sometime, to know that how some particular individual at work is going to treat me, say the rude behavior of another associate, isn’t going to rank to high on my feelings list. Why? Because on the scales of people, they rank somewhere between, I love them and I will pray for them. It’s a perfect person scale of living. I’m not going to hate anyone. I’m not even going to get into personality differences. Why? Because on the mat I know I have choices. The choices I make will affect me and the other person, and more often many others.
Behavior be it bad or good, involves more than just the two people involved. In friendship, many other friends get tangled and twisted in the web of unforgiven feelings. In marriage, well, lets just say television is never really a true depiction of how many people are affected. There is nothing comical or amusing about any of it.
The mat gives us choices. The choice to choose a manner which will bring about the least amount of conflict.
How It All Plays Out On This Holy Thursday
Think about it the scene for a moment.
This wee bit of passage of Scripture was never where Judas saw things going when he first met Jesus. This is not what He envisioned when He met Jesus because who he believed Jesus was. Not only that Judas had mapped out in his mind just how Jesus was going to proceed to do all that needed to be done. In Judas’ eyes there was going to be a huge hostile take-over. He never imaged that this one, thee One, would settle for doing things in any other manner than that of which his mind had conjured up. The result in the disappointment:
14-16That is when one of the Twelve, the one named Judas Iscariot, went to the cabal of high priests and said, “What will you give me if I hand him over to you?” They settled on thirty silver pieces. He began looking for just the right moment to hand him over.
So Much For The Welcome Mat
Judas is so now not believing, he doesn’t even see the Savior any longer as someone fit for the plans that lie ahead. Even after all that Jesus said, all that Jesus had done, Judas was now done with Him.
The saying goes that familiarity breeds contempt. I think sometimes it is the opposite. As a people group we tend to try to fit someone into our mold of living instead of accepting them as they are. We decide this person is fitting or useful for our life to get to this place in our plans. We use them, abuse them, and sometimes we even sell them out. Read on…
17On the first of the Days of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and said, “Where do you want us to prepare your Passover meal?”
18-19He said, “Enter the city. Go up to a certain man and say, ‘The Teacher says, My time is near. I and my disciples plan to celebrate the Passover meal at your house.'” The disciples followed Jesus’ instructions to the letter, and prepared the Passover meal.
20-21After sunset, he and the Twelve were sitting around the table. During the meal, he said, “I have something hard but important to say to you: One of you is going to hand me over to the conspirators.”
22They were stunned, and then began to ask, one after another, “It isn’t me, is it, Master?”
23-24Jesus answered, “The one who hands me over is someone I eat with daily, one who passes me food at the table. In one sense the Son of Man is entering into a way of treachery well-marked by the Scriptures—no surprises here. In another sense that man who turns him in, turns traitor to the Son of Man—better never to have been born than do this!”
25Then Judas, already turned traitor, said, “It isn’t me, is it, Rabbi?”
Jesus said, “Don’t play games with me, Judas.”
The Welcome Mat From Jesus
Maybe you are already a Believer, maybe you need to examine not just your relationship with others around you, but also how the relationship with others is handled because of your relationship with Christ Jesus.
As the mat says: CHRISTians aren’t perfect, we are forgiven. That forgiveness is a prime example, especially on this day, to show to others.
Maybe the very person we need to start with ourselves. Maybe we’ve behaved badly. Maybe we have to start with allowing ourselves to come to a place of admittance, and accept His forgiveness.
Imagine now, as Jesus was going forward now, with His Father’s plans. He was headed down road, where as a man, he had to deal with the conflict of knowing He was about to give His own life for someone who now was selling Him out. Yes, believe it or not, forgiveness on that cross came for the enemy at hand as well.
How about you? Got enemies? I know I do. Maybe not wanting to kill me enemies, but sure, I’ve got people who find me to be their amusement and they love to tangle, trip, and pretend with me. They think I don’t know but I do. I love them any way. Yep, I do. Sometimes though, I behave badly over it. Sometimes I take the wrong option on the mat. We all do.
Today step up to the door, knock and allow yourself to be forgiven, but be ready to put the welcome mat out for others as well.
That sisters and brothers, possibly some others, who don’t yet know Jesus in a personal way, is truly the first step to understanding forgiveness and the character of Christ Jesus.
Until all have heard of and know, His Love,