so this camel walked into the church….

Everybody welcome – no guards at the door…

So this happened Sunday morning, during the announcements at church. A camel walked into the sanctuary, led by some kind of a shepherd or guide.

“Which was is Bethlehem?” they wanted to know. Rebekah tried to point them in the right direction but they were still on campus at 11:15, wandering in circles.

Here’s my idea. It’s going to be November soon and then – just a few days after Thanksgiving – WFPC is going to host the annual “Walk Through Bethlehem” event and the place is going to be swarming with shepherds, prophets, Roman soldiers, angels, literally thousands of visitors, townspeople, and tax collectors – as well as guides and sheep and goats and even some wise men. Maybe the camel can just hang around and join the caravan then?

Fact is you never know what or who is going to walk in. That’s what it means to be a wide-open community of faith.

What we can’t start doing is to screen people at the door, to put our defenses up, or to turn people away because of the rising tide of intolerance and anger and hatred and violence in this country.

jesus is the invitation, the gate. The only thing we should be saying at the door is “welcome.”




derekmaul View All →

Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at, and there’s always something new in the works.

Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.

Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.

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