Show hospitality to one another without grumbling (1 Peter 4:9)
Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. (Hebrews 13:2)
And so my penultimate journey of 2012 begins! Its one that I have been equally dreading as well as looking forward to if I am honest. Its summed up well in the two quotes from the bible above. In one sense I love hospitality and rarely do I grumble at the prospect! I love being around people and using space, a home and an opportunity to show hospitality. I think some of that is rooted in deeply cherishing time with people and growing up in a home where hospitality was regularly exercised!
The party we held over the weekend for my Son, Having people round for a meal after church, hosting friends and family and many more things beside. Great memories and great experiences. Just brilliant.
However its the other verse, The Hebrews one, that makes this whole hospitality thing harder and why I was, if honest, also dreading an aspect of this journey. Showing hospitality to ‘strangers’ to people not ‘like’ me, not family, friends or people who I might more naturally connect with. That’s true, deep, rich, real hospitality. But a hospitality that is so much harder to exercise and live out. But one that is clearly an imperative and an outworking of true compassion. Taking hospitality and generosity to a deeper level. That is a hospitality that calls for true sacrifice and love in action.
The biblical case for hospitality is clear and extensive. What is also clear is that whilst we can exercise hospitality to those we know we must also clearly do this with the stranger, with those who we do not so easily resonate with. We must be able to show the grace and willingness of The Good Samaritan or The Loving Father who welcomes back without hesitation the prodigal. To invite the outcasts and the forgotten, the downtrodden to the feast.
The have’s must share what they have with the have not’s. This was brought home afresh to me in these biblical stories as well as in Masters of Money: Marx and today’s excellent thought for the day.
But as I know. Actions speak louder than words. Will my words lead into action?