I am vacuuming. My children ask – “Who is coming over?”
so – I only vacuum when we have company?
Out of the mouths of babes….
I used to scurry around madly fussing at anyone in my way before we had company over. I always left things to the last-minute so I was stressed and made my family stressed as well.
This is the way I viewed hospitality when I was first married. I had gotten all these wedding presents like –
- dinner ware
- silver ware
- cloth napkins
- matching glasses
So I thought hospitality was setting a lovely table with flowers and having people over for dinner. The first home Phil and I lived in was in Bryson City, next to the road – NEXT to the road. The rent was $65.00 a month. (can you picture a house that was torn down soon after we moved?)
We invited a couple over after church and I had made a meal of spaghetti (one of two dishes I could fix) and set a beautiful table with those wedding presents.
It was raining.
That would not have been a problem, but our roof leaked and there were four of five streams of water coming from the ceiling. The first thing we did when we entered with our guests was put bowls under each stream.
So much for the lovely table setting.
The dictionary defines hospitality this way –
- Hospitality – the friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers.
- synonyms – friendliness, welcome, helpfulness, warmth, kindness, courtesy, generosity,
Just look at those synonyms!
Hospitality can be so much more than inviting people to your home.
9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
Each time I read about hospitality in scripture, it was connected to showing love.
I believe hospitality is an attitude of the heart.
AN ATTITUDE WHOSE BASIS IS LOVE.
Hospitality is an attitude of the heart.
I know a young woman named Sadie who lives hospitality. She invites people over and makes them feel at home, makes them tea and listens. Sadie lives hospitality.
It is the attitude of her heart.
I had the privilege of shadowing Elaine White at United Christian Ministries. Remember those synonyms for hospitality? friendliness, welcome, helpfulness, warmth, kindness, courtesy, generosity, Elaine demonstrated every one of those with each person she saw.
It is an attitude of her heart.
A friend shared with me about opening her home to “strangers” – someone her daughter had met who needed a place to stay.
It did not go well.
But the attitude of her heart was to be welcoming, kind, and generous. She honored God – even though some people are unwilling to receive such love.
Sometimes showing hospitality is difficult.
It is not always easy – but God is asking us to have a hospitable heart.That may mean opening our homes, inviting people over.
It may mean being kind, friendly, and loving at Wal-Mart.
II John 1:12
“I have many things to write to you, but I prefer not to do so with paper and ink. I hope to see you and talk to you FACE TO FACE – so that our joy may be complete.”
Face to face –
this is when we can practice hospitality – whether it is in our home, while we work, when we see someone at Wal-Mart.
Then our joy may be complete.