Hospitality is defined as the friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers. Synonyms include: friendliness, hospitableness, warm reception, welcome, helpfulness, neighborliness, warmth, kindness, congeniality, geniality, cordiality, courtesy, and amenability.
How does our congregation live into the words of Matthew 25:35, 40: “...I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me...just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.”
Imagine what would happen if people took Jesus’ words seriously. The bundles of hopes and anxieties, desires, and discomforts that each of have and think, “This is a member of Jesus’ family, and Jesus wants us to treat each other as we would treat Jesus himself if he were here.” With this in mind, what would be the quality of welcome and the efforts to ease awkwardness? What would be the enthusiasm to help, to serve, to graciously receive, support and encourage? Taking Jesus seriously can seriously change the behavior of each of us.
What could our hospitality look like, if we made it radical and lived that radical hospitality every moment of every day for the rest of our lives?
Please consider this prayer for the month of August:
Gracious God, give me a heart that remembers the strangers who may be in my path today. Help me to share your all-encompassing love with them, just as you have shown love to me.