Hospitality is becoming an almost forgotten Christian virtue in our style of life today...In the New Testament, however, hospitality was a distinctive mark of Christians and Christian communities."
from The Hospitality Commands~
We were in Belfast for a long weekend. A youth pastor who had come to work with our kids in England several times lived near Belfast. We decided to visit his church while there. We didn't call, we didn't plan for it, the opportunity just arose and we took it. He greeted us warmly, lamenting that his wife was working and not there for us to meet. We took our seats and the worship was wonderful. After the service he caught German. "Follow me home," he insisted. "My wife wants to meet you; we'll have lunch at my house." She had just come off a shift at the hospital. She pulled frozen chicken patties and peas out of the freezer. It was simple. It was unplanned. It was perfect. In fact, it is the only meal I can remember from that trip and we ate in a Michelin-starred-top-chef restaurant as well!
I don't know the book of today's quote. I've not read it or anything by this author. So I cannot speak from where he is speaking. But I can speak from my own experience. And my experience says that hospitality is not a lost virtue. I've seen it time and time again in all kinds of places.
I see it in churches as someone befriends a new person.
I see it week after week when a believer opens their home for a Bible Study, house fellowship, youth group or other gathering.
I see it when someone takes a cup of tea to the homeless guy selling magazines outside the store on a cold day.
It's there on the play date as children begin sharing their things and their lives and are learning about what it means to be Christian.
It's a present virtue in so many blogs across the web, where believers are welcomed to come and learn and be themselves.
Hospitality is still there. Maybe it looks different than in Biblical times. But then our culture looks different as well. Anytime someone is reaching out to make someone welcome in Christian love, hospitality is present.
I pray that people find it when they wander into my little slice of webspace. I thank you for extending it to me when I come to yours.
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.
1 Peter 4:8-9
Lord, give me a hospitable heart. Give me eyes to see the person who needs a welcoming smile, a warm handshake and an offer of time and friendship. Thank you for allowing me to so often see your gift of hospitality offered through others. Amen.
Chelsey is this week's hostess for In Other Words. Please visit her at Joyfully Living to read her take on the quote, as well as some other wonderful, witty and hospitable bloggers!