No matter where your home is, what shape it is in, hospitality turns it into a castle. This home in a village in rural Yunnan Province, China, offered us great hospitality.
Biblical hospitality is sharing our homes, our lives with strangers as well as friends. When one is not sharing material possessions, it is difficult to share spiritual treasures. Hospitality was modeled by the Incarnation as Jesus shared His glorious self with us and we must share ourselves with a lonely, hurting world.
Preached 8.19.2012 in Havre, Montana
In a nutshell, biblical hospitality is opening up your life and sharing it with those you meet, whether they are people you know well or complete strangers. It isn’t hosting a party, giving a donation to charity or buying a bum a meal. It is sharing what you have – your food, your home, your clothes, your resources – both material and spiritual with other people. The people of God are aliens and strangers whom God has welcomed into the household of faith. In turn, God’s people are to “make room” for the stranger, not only in the community of faith, but in their personal households.
In a very real sense, a person who has a difficult time sharing material possessions with the stranger will have an even more difficult time sharing their spiritual possession (faith in Jesus Christ) with them as well. The New Testament writers Paul, Peter and the author of Hebrews all command the followers of Jesus to show hospitality. A person could not serve as a church leader without having a life characterized by hospitality, widows in the church were not even eligible for benevolence unless they were hospitable to strangers, that is how serious God commands us to practice this.
Is your life characterized by hospitality?