Learning About Hospitality

It’s been said that welcome is what we do at the front door.  Hospitality is what we extend when someone is inside our home, our space, our heart.  The real intent of hospitality is not just a great meal – it is to establish a sense of comfort, safety and security.  The hospitable place is where you can breathe, be yourself, and be accepted in whatever condition you arrived today – in body and spirit.  That is a great gift in a world that feels increasingly untrustworthy in so many ways.  We are threatened by assaults on our spirits as well as our bodies.  We are all fragile and it is easy to forget that.
The Greek word in scripture for “hospitality” is philoxenos – a combination of (brotherly, familial) “love” and “stranger.”  True hospitality is to love the stranger, the immigrant, the “other” as you would love your own sibling.  The hallmark of a Jesus follower is a radical love for immigrants – after the manner of brothers and sisters.  This means we don’t withhold from immigrants (legal or undocumented); we don’t allow them to go homeless or hungry; to be frightened or threatened; we refuse to call them names and we practice extending ourselves to build relationship with them, to bring them safety and security.  These are the things the Bible means when it calls us to hospitality – familial love for strangers and immigrants.  Are we actually doing these things, or are we simply having friends over for dinner and calling ourselves good?

Pastor Carol

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