Filed under Homemaking Hospitality
“Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.” 1 Peter 4:8-9
In this series, we’ll answer four simple questions about hospitality:
What is hospitality?
Who is to show hospitality and who is to receive hospitality?
Why show hospitality?
How do we show hospitality?
So what is hospitality? The word, as it is used in the Bible, is a compound word that brings together the two words “love” and “stranger.” It literally means to show “Love for strangers.”
Hospitality is love. Not only does the word mean “love,” but here it is set in the context of the command to “keep loving one another earnestly.”
“Love in action” is how one woman defines hospitality. It is “meeting the needs of others through the use of one’s resources, specifically in and through the context of the home” (Practicing Hospitality, Pat Ennis & Lisa Tatlock)
Showing hospitality is not limited to having people into our home (although this is its primary expression). We can also use the resources of our home to show hospitality by making a meal, buying groceries, visiting the sick, babysitting, sending a note of encouragement, gifting homemade crafts, and even supporting local and international ministries who feed and clothe the poor.
Hospitality is a love of strangers. “It is to show kindness to strangers in such a way that they cease to be strangers.” It is “A concrete and personal expression of Christian love, intended to include strangers in a circle of care.” (New Dictionary of Biblical Theology)
A “stranger” isn’t merely a person you’ve never laid eyes on before. So often, people in our churches, neighborhoods, jobs, schools, and even extended family are strangers. Even though we see them every day, we hardly know them.
But when someone walks through our front door, a tangible, powerful thing happens. There is a fundamental change in our relationship. People who were once strangers cease to be strangers. They become a guest, and even a friend.
Who is one stranger you can show love to this week?