Hospitality, what is it and why should we engage?
“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ ”
Often our culture depicts hospitality as a large immaculate house, a perfect dining table with stately centerpieces and a long tempting spread of endless delights. The picture is impeccable, but for many, unrealistic and intimidating. Christian hospitality is quite different from this unrealistic view. Christian hospitality is simply serving others well. It is using what we have to meet the needs of others.
Christian hospitality is an act of worship. Our gifts of service to the hurting, sick, and imprisoned on this earth is a demonstration of our love for our heavenly Father. As we learn to lay aside our selfishness and choose to minister for His glory, it becomes a beautiful gift to our King Jesus.
Christian hospitality is a step of obedience that brings blessings to others. God tells his people to “Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” Romans 12:13 (NIV) As we are obedient, the world sees the love of the Father. “They will know we are Christians by our Love.” John 13:35 (NIV) We become His hands and feet in a hurting world. He uses us to give encouragement, comfort, and spread His love. Christ demonstrated His love for us. We must share His love with others. It is a joy to worship and obey the King of Kings through being hospitable.
There are many ways to show hospitality. It can be helping to show a newcomer at church where to park their car, showing someone to the correct building, a smiling face, or simply saying "hello!" Whatever the expression of hospitality may be, the Lord is glorified in our worship.