My husband and I had the honor of hosting an Open House for our church family last Sunday. The church has provided a wonderful home for us to live in, and we wanted to share it with them. It was such a wonderful afternoon full of fellowship and love. As I was reading in my quiet time this morning, I wanted to see what the Bible said about hospitality. There were several passages that mentioned it, but I really was drawn to 3 John 1:8. When some people hear the word hospitality, they instantly think of hosting dinners and get togethers at their home. They may even think of having friends or family staying in their home for some length of time, doing all they can to make them feel comfortable. Sometimes our motive for being "hospitable" may be selfish in nature however. We may want to have people in our homes just to brag and show off our latest purchases. Or we may want to have people over so they can see what great "Marthas" we are...doing all we can to take care of them, while we complain the entire time and miss the true reason why they are there.
Romans 12:13 says, "Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality." The Life Application Study Bible really helped me understand what God is looking for in us as Christians. Christian hospitality is very different than social entertaining. A lot of the time entertaining focuses on the host and the home. Many hours are spent preparing food, and cleaning the house. We can become so consumed with the preparations that we can't even enjoy the occasion. But true hospitality focuses on the guests and their needs. Whether it is a hot meal to eat, a warm bed to sleep in, or just a place to relax and feel safe, the guest come first. Hospitality can happen in a messy home, (thank goodness), or a mansion. It can take place at a table set with the finest china, or sitting on the floor with paper plates. As the verse says, "Share with God's people who are in need." That means the homeless man on the street that asks for money, the father who just lost his job and can't provide for his family, the woman who is lost and all alone. Kind words, prayers, and help can go a long way in providing for someone who just wants to feel whole again. This is a form of Christian hospitality.
It may feel as if you don't have enough to give to someone else, or that what you do have is not good enough..but that is not how God sees it. All we have to do is open up our hearts to others without worrying about impressing them with the best that we have. True hospitality comes from a spirit of giving to others in Christian love. They say that home is where the heart is. I can’t wait to see my home is heaven one day, and come face to face with the Host of my life.