Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Invitation to Christ Hospitality
“Let brotherly love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares”. vs 1-2
Growing up in a Christian family, we always had extra people at our dinner table on Saturdays and Sundays. My parents always said that, as Christians, we have to show hospitality to others. So, for me, hospitality meant “eating with others” As I looked at the weekly theme, I was curious as to what it means. The word hospitality, translated from Greek, means “love of strangers,” and it explains Hebrew 13:2 well.
Being hospitable is not a new commandment, as we can trace it through the word of God. In the Old Testament, Leviticus 19:18 and Deuteronomy 10:19 both command us to love our neighbors. God welcomed Adam to the Garden of Eden, Abraham hosted many strangers, Rahab welcomed the spies, and the widow of Zepharath hosted Elisha (1Kings 17-18). In the New Testament, Jesus showed us not just to show hospitality but also to expect it. Most of Jesus’ ministry was around food and gatherings. He sought out Zacchaeus (Luke 19:5) and went to his house and ate with him as He shared the word with him.
What Should Hospitality Look Like in Our Lives?
All we need to do is follow Christ's example. Christ welcomed us to his table with an invitation, He met us in our weakness, and He shared His immense love with us. Can we invite people not just to our dinner table but into our hearts, as Christ did? We need to use that time on the table to share the privilege that we have with Christ: to care for them, to love them, and to build a relationship. (Mark 12:30-21) He commands us to connect and engage with others. Hospitality to those around us is the best way to fulfill “the great commission” As we meet and share, let us declare that He has loved us, let us encourage each other to love and to do good works (Heb 10:24-25).
What's Stopping Us?
Well, hospitality comes with a cost. It costs us time and compassion. It challenges us to grow and be vulnerable with others. Loving people where they are is not easy. It will test our limits. Hospitality looks very different during this pandemic. We may be isolated, but let us challenge each other to seek others with intention: to connect, engage, accept, and share Christ’s love and His redemption with others.
Our Almighty and Sovereign God, thank You for loving us and showing us how to love. Bless us to open our hearts to include others in our joy and be able to extend Your invitation of eternal life with others. In Jesus name, Amen
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
Hospitality is not about entertaining, it’s about engaging.
St. Thomas MTC, Yonkers, NY
Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church