Hospitality, in the biblical sense, means more than just having a party.
Hospitality is commanded of us as Christians. Peter advises: “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” (1 Peter 4:8-10) Paul gives us much the same message: “Keep on loving each other as brothers. Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.” (Hebrews 13:1-2) and even more plainly in his letter to Rome: “Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” (Romans 12:13)
Experience FAT: Bible questions
How can we become more hospitable? While washing a person’s feet won’t always be appropriate, we can still take away many important principles by examining Jesus’ teaching and behavior about hospitality. We can learn a lot just by observing how Jesus behaved when he visited others’ homes, and how various people are commended or reproached for how they treated Jesus. Read Lynn Mosher’s recent article “What is Hospitality?” to learn more!
Karen Schenk’s article (written for Christian and non-Christian audiences) “Scared to have People Over?” could also be helpful.
Have you been practicing hospitality lately? What barriers have you found to inviting people over to share in fellowship at your home, both on their part, and your own? Contact us if you’d like to discuss it privately.
Reference & further reading: Handbook of Biblical Social Values, John J. Pilch & Bruce J. Malina