Hospitality…So Much More Than Just a Meal!
We had dinner with a precious young couple last night. They so desire to serve God well and make a difference in the world around them. They have been jumping some very big hurdles.
This morning, after that sweet time of fellowship in their home, I thought about their obedience to these verses:
1 Peter 4:7-9 (NIV) 7 The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray. 8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 9 Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.
Having us for dinner took some effort! They both work outside the home. Their work day ran late and they still had to rush home, finish pulling dinner together, get a shower and try to be ready to open the door for us by 7:30!
Still…look at those verses. Why is hospitality placed right there on the heels of telling us to “love one another deeply” and right after saying that “love covers a multitude of sins”? This morning, after beautiful fellowship around our young friends’ kitchen table…I see it more clearly.
We knew this dinner was a lot of effort for them, we were texting back and forth allowing them some extra time to get their showers in and maybe catch a breath! They could have cancelled our dinner. They knew we would understand. Yet…they pressed forward and blessed us in a way that almost nothing else can. They opened their home to us. They opened their hearts.
Hospitality is not simply a meal. It is about the honor you bestow on someone else by bringing them into your home. It doesn’t matter how little or how much you possess…how fancy or simple your meal or your home is.
Hospitality is offering your heart to another (possibly weary) soul. Hospitality heals. It truly does cover a multitude of sins. Is there someone you feel kind of miffed at or have felt misunderstood by? Do you feel God calling you to mend that relationship or bless that person? Bringing him/her into your home for a cup of coffee or a piece of cake and a little conversation is surely one of the best ways to make that person feel honored.
Your guests know it is a lot of effort to open your home to them. Most of us are ready for some down time in the evenings. We guard that time. Sometimes down time is a good thing, of course. But sometimes…we rob someone of the healing they so badly need. We rob ourselves of healing and bonding that we might not even know we are missing. The thing is…God knows.
Such a simple principle…such huge rewards. Why are we so prone to brush off as “optional” the things our God tells us to do?
The next verse says: 10 Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. 1 Peter 4:10 (NIV)
Your heart…your home…your desire to grow and to touch lives…are all God’s grace to you.
Hospitality is…an amazing God-given way to administer them all!
1 Peter 4:11 (NIV) 11 If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.