We were all raised to be hospitable – to welcome others into our homes, to our tables. We know the power of a shared meal to break down barriers, build connection and help work through difficulties (after all, Jesus did his best work at the dinner table with difficult and “different” people). Yet God calls us to a deeper, and often more difficult form of hospitality. The Greek word for hospitality in scripture, philoxenos, means almost literally “sibling love for the stranger.” We are called to love the stranger, the immigrant, even an enemy, as our brother or sister. This is a challenge. Often we narrow hospitality to those whom we know best, or with whom we feel most comfortable. Abraham and Sarah welcomed strangers, knowing that without that welcome, they might perish in the desert. Mary and Martha welcomed Jesus not only with food and drink, but with the priceless gift of presence and attention. That is what each person needs and wants – and that is what God gives us; presence and attention. Holy hospitality.
May peace, grace, and hospitality be with us all –