October 25, 2011

Spiritual Disciplines XXVI: Hospitality

Being Received By Others

I have been received by my neighbors whom I was basically at war with for a decade before coming to Christ. Neighbors who by all rights could’ve written me off as a lost cause even by Biblical standards but God is full of grace and my neighbors eventually became my friends. Not only that but they are brethren in Christ and this is an invaluable thing that I cannot put a value on. They were willing to reach out when I finally began to turn around. They have been there for encouragement and support when things hit the fan.

Wounded Instead of Welcomed

The greatest betrayals have to have been being released from places of employment that I have poured my life into. This is especially true of my last employer. Towards the end I was clearly spending more time at my place of employment than I was with family. I nearly lost my wife and family in the process. What’s worse is I eventually lost the job because they simply made a business decision and laid me off. After 10 years in their employment I was literally tossed out like yesterday’s garbage. To think I nearly lost the very things I hold dear (my family) because of dedication to a faceless corporation is insulting. In the end though I realize being let go was the best thing for my life. My priorities had gone askew. Things are by no means perfect but they are better spiritually.

Christ Welcomes All

When I came to Christ I knew it was the right thing to do. Wounds from my previous life didn’t instantly heal. Some things got better immediately upon finding a good church and good fellowship but some things from the previous life left deep scars. I realize we are new creations as the Bible says but we are also humans and we are in the worlds system. As such we are still victims to the flesh and these things often take time to heal…especially emotional wounds that ran deep. To some extent I still nurse issues and I might be better served making a concerted effort to pray to God to help release me from them.

Being The MC (Master of Ceremonies)

I used to hate having company because it always meant putting on “airs” but I now look forward to making people feel comfortable. I feel no need to act towards others with pretense. There is nothing better than having a warm conversation over a hot cup of coffee. I especially like speaking about things pertaining to God. Frankly, if I do not get a chance to incorporate God into a conversation even indirectly, I often feel I have incompletely used my time.

A Model of Hospitality

My wife is vastly more hospitable than I will ever be. She clearly has more social graces. I like sitting in my man-cave (library not wreck room) dissecting commentaries and/or writing. If conversation does not move along to something productive or if it drifts off to gossip I quickly become intolerant of it and drift off. First I drift mentally and then I loose social graces and physically drift off. I don’t mean to I just have a real short attention span and in some cases have been accused of having ADHD


As I said before I highly valued my alone time and seclusion but as Christians we are called to be just the opposite. We are to go out into the world. If we cannot do that we should at least be receptive to people coming to us and receiving them into our home with hospitality. To do any less would be un-Christian. Of course I am not saying to invite pedophiles and ax murderers into your home but at least be receptive to those in the Faith. We are called to be open to all but not to the point of tolerating unbiblical. If Uncle Kevin keeps spouting off about how great Satan is and aliens you might be well served reading him the riot act and giving him the boot.

Opening My Home To Jesus and My Neighbors

I am convicted that my home needs to be a place of worship and study of God. I study within the walls of my home and have done so since being called to the ministry. I will continue to do so. I also try my best to fulfill my responsibilities to teach my wife and children about what the Bible means. As time allows I will inevitably invite others from church to fellowship in my home and learn from them and teach what I know. I try to now but the situation is chaotic as always. I realize that the early church had its beginnings in people’s homes. We see this all over the New Testament. In the 1st century to not invite people to stay in your home was inhospitable and an affront to people’s honor and a violation of social norms. They lived in a society of reciprocal hospitality…something we rarely see nowadays…something we should see more of.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...