My friend recently got given a new Soda Stream machine. This is a simple contraption that puts gas into water making it into soda water.
These were a huge hit when we were young. In fact, when my friend told me she had one we were both able to name one or two of our friends who actually owned a soda stream when we were young. We were never allowed to have one but I remembered that Sharon Hose had one! It was so significant at the time that I still remember it 30 years later!!
While my friend remembered having Soda Stream when visiting a friend, she didn’t remember how the machine worked. And when she opened her new present the only instructions attached were in pictorial form.
While the picture showed placing the bottle in the machine, it didn’t mention you had to actually screw the bottle into place. It took my intelligent friend numerous tries until she finally worked out how to use her new appliance.
I found it baffling that more thorough instructions were not included. Did they just assume that everyone already knows how to use a Soda Stream machine?
This assumption reminded me of how we often act when it comes to faith and church, especially if you have grown up in the church. We forget how foreign and strange our rituals and procedures can be to those who are new or exploring.
Whether you are up on the platform or sitting in the pew, we all need to be aware that there may be people around us who don’t feel they have all the instructions on how to behave or what is expected when it comes to church. A lot of our weekly rituals are more human made than God ordained but let’s not just assume everyone knows how your community works. Let’s fully embrace and include all those who are wanting to connect with God.
Lord, You have loved every person and open Your arms to anyone who declares You as Lord. May we be as loving and inclusive as You. Amen.
How can you be more inclusive in your faith community?
This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.