Invitation to Christ’s hospitality
Share with the Lords people who are in need. Practice hospitality. (V.13)
In today’s passage, Paul wants to encourage the faithful to practice hospitality in all circumstances, even to the outsiders. This is a need based genuine response without expecting anything in return.
The message of hospitality can be found in throughout the scripture. It is a way of life that reflects the character of Jesus himself, who comes to the world as a stranger, guest and host. Jesus practiced hospitality by His humility, meekness, sharing and sacrifice etc. This is a counter cultural practice in the modern world in which more prone to ultra individualism, rejection, exclusion and accumulation. When people experienced Jesus' hospitality they became "transformed beings ".This practice touched their head and mind. The story of Jesus feeding the five thousand, the followers were mere a crowd once, after the feeding they became transformed into a meaningful community. Jesus the host offered the whole of His being- A Life giving bread. So we have to continue the same. When we share the bread in communion it demands "to be the bread."
Hospitality in the Home
Our homes are the base points where we begin the practice of hospitality. Individualism of modern culture isolate people in their own world. Instead of being out in the world people can do everything while sitting in the home. These modern technologies and devices distract ourselves being deep in conversation even within our family members. So we have to consider hospitality within the members of the same family more seriously than any other time. We have to train our self to be there at home while we are at home, to be there at prayer, to be there in the table of fellowship. Though we are over packed with our schedules try to open the doors of our home to welcome others.
Hospitality in the church
The church should be a place of welcome. The people may feel personally greeted, welcomed and invited. Extend hospitality to new comers and people with special needs. We cannot limit the meaning of hospitality to the above definitions only but going out and meeting the needy in the neighborhood is also important. As Bonhoeffer says "The church is the church only when it exist f or others". Out reach is one of the fruits of Christian hospitality and worship. So go beyond the walls of the existing structures of the church.
Prayer: Lord though we are sojourners help us to welcome and receive everyone in your name.....Amen
Thought for the day: "Be nice to each other, it’s really all that matters"
Seena Sam, Carmel MTC Boston