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Thursday, 7 June 2018

What is Hospitality?


Make Yourself at Home
Wednesday, May 30, 2018
What is Hospitality?


                Hospitality enables deeper relationships between people.
Hospitals care for the sick and support patients as they return to health. In the church, hospitality cares for people. True biblical hospitality can return a church to health. When a gift touches our souls, there is healing. Hospitality focuses all attention on the needs of the guest and the host prioritizes the spending of time with the guest.
                Two sisters, Mary and Martha learned that Jesus was coming to their village. IN Luke 10:38-42 we read of their story. Martha was preparing the meal, building a fire, setting the table, fetching the water and wiping sweat as she worked. Mary sat a Jesus’ feet. Martha was annoyed about to cross the line between hospitality and entertaining. She grumbled, “Lord don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself?” Jesus reminded Martha that she was worried about too many things. Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken from her. Spending time with Jesus is always the most important.
                The early church understood hospitality. They needed to be together to make their relationships all the more precious. They gathered strength from sharing meals. When the disciples traveled to share the good news, they depended upon the hospitality of others. “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angles without knowing it.” Hebrews 13:2. Hospitality is not entertaining. True hospitality costs.
REFLECTION:
When was the last time you truly felt or showed hospitality? Sometimes we forget that this is a gift of the Spirit which is often seen as being assumed by the church. But people in a church family which is made up of all ages, and stages of life need this hospitality in order to grow and be with people for who they are!
Why do churches have meals or potlucks?  To build up hospitality. Yet often what occurs is that fellowship is moved for something to grow from within to fundraisers where those involved are there to provide a meal and clean up. Little interaction takes place between the hosts and guests. And this is where something is lost in those wonderful church suppers! How might we try to be more hospitable with one another?
PRAYEER
God you have gifted us with many blessings. Help us to be more hospitable and to choose what Jesus said was the right thing to do. To sit and listen at his feet. Help us to have time to do this and to rejoice that Jesus truly loves us for who we are. Enable us to share his love and tell these stories as we become more hospitable. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Resource:  (based upon) Kay Swatkowski “Make Yourself at Home: Discovering the Heart of the Church” Discovery House Publishers, Our Daily Bread Ministries, 2016 (ch.3)

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