Acts 28:14-16 Friends in Rome heard we were on the way and came out to meet us. One group got as far as Appian Court; another group met us at Three Taverns—emotion-packed meetings, as you can well imagine. Paul, brimming over with praise, led us in prayers of thanksgiving. (The Message Bible)
Paul has had a difficult journey on several ships as a prisoner on his way to Rome to defend himself before the Imperial Court. He had been in a storm out at sea that lasted days. He had been shipwrecked on an island. He had been bitten by a snake. As he was finally reaching his destination, we have the above verses. To be welcomed, particularly after a long and strenuous trip is a much-appreciated blessing. We all need to be welcomed, whether that is at someone’s home for a holiday dinner or a Sunday morning at church. And we all can be those who welcome. As we give thanks this year for those who tell and show us “You belong here,” may we learn to be for others those who welcome in the name of God.