Jesus can only do his work where he’s welcome. At the outset of the ministry, he reads from Isaiah, then closes the scroll and waits. And waits. His words are unwelcome, and we never again hear of Nazareth in the Gospels.

On sending out his disciples, he instructs them to linger only where they find hospitality.

Simon the Pharisee offers Jesus condescension and disrespect, and in response, Jesus turns his attention to a serving woman.

We conclude our prayers by saying Amen, and we often think of that as expressing intellectual agreement. And it is that, of course; but much more, it’s a way of saying Thank you, of saying Come in, sit down, of saying Let me give you something to eat.

Our spiritual devotions to God and our material devotions to the children of God are all ways of saying Amen. The Christian goal is a life that simply is: Amen.

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