Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Experiencing the Mystery of God in Hospitality
Genesis. 18:1-15

Vs.2,3 "He lifted up his eyes and looked and behold three men stood in front of him, when he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them, and bowed himself to the earth and said “My lord if I have found favor in your sight not pass by your servant”. 
There is a conceptual understanding that God is “absolutely Other”. No one can talk to God that there is an infinite distance between creator and creature.  For Abraham, God is an experiential God who intervenes by his promise in the face of hospitality. “I will surely return to you in the spring and Sara your wife shall have a son”. v10. It is the reassurance of His great mystical promise “to be a blessing and made of him a great nation”.12:2

Hospitality is an invitation attached to diakonia.
Hospitality is a divine fellowship. Our genuine intensity to receive ‘other’ is very significant in this hospitality. Abraham sincerely invited the strangers who appeared before the tent to his hospitality. He bowed himself to the earth and washed their feet, signifies his attitude towards service and his respect to others. Leonard I Sweet, in his book “Quantum Spirituality a Post- modern Apologetic” contents that “invitation is inextricably attached to diakonia in hospitality…. in Christ invitation ‘come and party’ announcing a Messianic banquet of healing, redemption and fulfillment, is the role of humble servant hood”. Abraham very compassionately offered his service for the well- being of others. Hospitality is an expression of intensified love to serve others to become better than they came.

Hospitality a Sacramental expression of koinonia.
 Hospitality is considered as stranger to become friend. Abraham expressed his willingness to share his table to the strangers.  He accepted them as they were and well treated them in his home. The entrance of the other into the intimacy of the family makes a meaningful space for divine fellowship within the house hold. By offering hospitality he affirms that other is very significant for his self.  This is the spirituality that accepts and receives even the least and stranger in fellowship. When visualizing the eschatological fellowship, as least one Jesus says that “for I was hungry and you gave me food, and I was thirsty and you gave me drink and I was stranger you welcomed me”. Mt. 25:35. The kingdom fellowship can be fulfilled by blessing, breaking and distributing one’s bread to other who is in need. The mission of hospitality is a sacramental extension of our fellowship where other is considered as divine.
Other is an inevitable part of our life. As Abraham has experienced the favor of God in the sight of hospitality, other determines and defines our identity and spirituality today.
Oh Lord, by inviting, serving and caring other, help us to keep up the sanctity of hospitality and legacy of our kitchen so that we can experience sacramental extension of Your fellowship in our household. Amen.  

Let us revisit our hospitality where other defines our identity.

Rev.Alexander Varghese, Bethel MTC, Mannamaruthi, Ranny.