I marvel at the birth of the Church in Acts 2. It begins as a group gathered together in an upper room (many believe where the Last Supper had been held a little more than a month earlier). Then, The Holy Spirit comes and the Church is moved--dramatically--into the public arena. The baby Church is thrust out into the open.
The encouragement (and challenge) Jesus gave during His ministry on earth was coming to pass:
"You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand— shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven." - Jesus (Matthew 5:14-16 MSG)
Jesus invites His Church (You and me) to hold nothing back. There’s nothing to be kept hidden from view. Let us overflow with lavish hospitality, generosity, compassion, and vulnerability. Let us have the reputation as extravagant lovers of God AND lovers of every person we encounter.
May the Church be the epicenter of such radical love that the world cannot deny the evidence: the hope we have found in Jesus is real.