Advent 2 - Year A
Posited perspective: The past was written that we might find our commonality today. Well and good, has it worked out?
Rather, a more fruitful mantra is "welcome as you have been welcomed". This anticipates a future commonality breaking into the present.
There are some folk who have not been welcomed well. Their behavior reveals that lack. Welcome them anyway, for you have been well welcomed.
There are some folk who have been welcomed well but for whatever reason have not received that welcome. Their behavior reveals that lack. Welcome them anyway, for you have been well welcomed.
A stimulus or a response to poor or generous welcoming is not predictable. There are some folk who overcome an unwelcoming beginning and those who are thankful for the welcome they have received. There is not an automatic response to welcoming. When a positive response is available to a welcome it can come in an instant or in stages.
Nonetheless, there is a bed-rock need of welcoming as broadly as possible and then to go beyond what seems it is possible to welcome. This is the key to this pericope, "For G*D's sake! Welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you." Substitute "forgiveness" for "welcome" and you'll see the connection. Try "be merciful to" as another alternative and the connection deepens.
Whether believing or not - joy, peace, and abounding hope are revealed in how we experience being welcomed and how we welcome. Act as though you were introducing these qualities as greater than your own entitlement. Could you be the equivalent of Baptizer John preparing a way for joy to flourish, peace to be grounded, and hope to bounce around? -- Well, yes. -- So?