A few weeks ago I was privileged, along with some 60 others, to attend a day with Padraig O’Tuama, “Spirituality in a Changing World”. Padraig’s soft Irish accent was good listening – and memorably, I stayed awake, even after lunch!

There were many memorable moments during the day, as we were encouraged through scripture, poetry and sharing to grow in ways that connected our relationship with God and our relationships with others – our life in a world of change.

Towards the end of the day we spent time writing collects. A collect is a prayer with a single focus, and a clear structure:

  1. Name God;
  2. Say something more about God;
  3. Name your request;
  4. Explore the “because” of your request;
  5. A “little bird” of praise.

We were invited to write our own collect. I reflected on hospitality – on the One we have come to know as a welcoming, hospitable God, on our responsibility as followers of Jesus to be hospitable to others, and on the spiritual gift of hospitality.

This is my collect:
     Welcoming God
     who holds an open door
     and an open table,
     may our door be open
     to friends and to strangers –
     our table extendable to include all,
     just as you have made space for us
     In your house
     at your table –
     forever welcomed by Jesus.

     David Reeve
     Hobart North