"Share with the Lord's people who are in need. Practice hospitality."
"Be hospitable to one another without complaint."
I Peter 4:9
"Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it."
As a family, we enjoy opening out home to our family, our friends & neighbors, and occasionally, even some who are strangers to us. I usually read these passages about hospitality & begin to think of friends of mine who are so very generous with their hospitality. I have a neighbor who has taught me so much about thinking of others needs & giving good gifts. I read the verse on giving to strangers & my mind thinks of the homeless who I fail to serve in general. But I think of those I meet, who are strangers to me in the beginning, and who I am able to serve or invite into our home to get to know better. I think the Lord brings those into your life that you have the choice to serve, and his plans are better than my plans. (I am not saying it isn't important to see out those 'strangers' that you may not come into contact with - serving in different ministries or organizations, going on missions trips, and keeping your eyes open in daily life are all apart of our call)
I usually think of hospitality as being a good 'host' in welcoming guests into our home. Our son James has a natural gift of hospitality. When family or friends come to our house, he offers them a place to sit. When I visit his class he always makes a space for me & wants me to join in whatever he is doing. He is quick to include & create space for those who come.
I love modeling hospitality for our sons, but they teach us how to welcome our guests with a love and affection that is overflowing. The practice of hospitality is how we teach them now, but we will be able to include them more&more on the aspects of how we prepare our home & what we offer when our guests arrive. Sometimes our hospitality to friends consists mostly of affection, but on other planned occasions, we prepare for days in advance. I think both are a great way to welcome others into our daily lives & also our home.
Lord thank you for the chances to share our home with those in our lives. Continue to give us the eyes.to.See the opportunities to show love & care for those around us, friends & strangers alike. May we be good stewards of what you graciously give us, and open up our home freely. Please teach our sons what hospitality means, and continue to grow the unique desire in James to make others feel welcome & included. Lord we are so grateful. Amen.