1 Peter 4: 9 Be hospitable to one another without complaining. 10 Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received.
This language of hospitality and service comes up again and again when referring to followers of Jesus Christ. There is something about the way in which we treat one another as Christ-followers that reveals the love of God to the world. The gifts which we have each received are not for our own personal consumption, but for the benefit of all. They are to be shared so that the community of faith may be built up.
It seems that the traditional ways in which to extend hospitality have changed in the last few years. It seems quite rare to be invited into someone’s home these days. I remember the old traditional “Sunday Dinner.” That doesn’t happen all that often — and nor does just sitting around a table and having lengthy conversation. Instead we are caught up in our smart phones and trying out the latest new restaurant in the neighborhood. Hey — I’m just as guilty.
So what does hospitality among God’s people look like these days? Maybe it’s not the same as in the past, but it’s still the requirement for God’s people.
I’ve seen it expressed in the loving support of a church family to someone who has been diagnosed with cancer.
I’ve seen it in the love of a congregation toward their pastor — sending him/her on a much needed vacation.
I’ve seen it in the busy mom who went out of her way to help pick up her friend’s child so they can can participate in the day’s activities.
I’ve seen the community bringing meals to those who are sick.
But it may be that we have to be more intentional about new and creative ways in which to show hospitality in a changing world. If the people of God ever stop extending hospitality we will be in trouble, and I believe that we are on the verge of being tempted in this area. God’s people have always been and always will be called to serve one another. We must not allow the busyness of life to detract us from this calling.
Lord, may I show hospitality today — and every day. Amen.
Thank you to Nazarene Publishing House and Keri Mitchell for helping to create and publish Reflecting the Image. This is not a devotional book, but rather a collection of thoughts and stories which lead us in the direction of reflecting Christ. Click on the image to take you to the NPH bookstore.The book is also available in Kindle format on Amazon.com.