“The movement of Jesus is always from the outside-in: welcoming, inviting, including. Jesus was always including people, bringing them in from the outside. As James Alison has noted, for Jesus there was no “other.” All were welcome members of his community. By speaking to ‘outsiders,’ healing those who were not part of the Jewish community, as well as his ‘table fellowship’ with the outcasts, Jesus was embodying God’s hospitality.”
“Jesus is apt to come, into the very midst of life at its most real and inescapable moments. Not in a blaze of unearthly light, not in the midst of a sermon, not in the throes of some kind of religious daydream, but … at supper time, or walking along a road. …He never approached from on high, but always in the midst, in the midst of people, in the midst of real life and the questions that real life asks.”
What do inclusion and welcome mean in the church? That we allow people to sit in a pew? That we allow people to listen to what we have to say?
Or could it mean that we allow ourselves to see God approach “in the questions that real life asks”? That we don’t exclude the people who raise questions we prefer not to answer? That we make room for everyone’s questions, and for God in all of these?