I work through the night as an auditor for a hotel of a major chain. It involves me being the only representative and contact for guests of over 120 rooms. Hundreds of guests, scores of requests, multitude of problems, and me. I strive to be polite, professional, and graceful. I often come across as an irritated dad who has whiny, demanding, selfish kids who just wont stay in their room.
I work as the lunch-time host of a very busy super-duper chicken franchise run by poor spelling bovine. I keep tables wiped, sweep floors, deliver food to tables, interact with diners, clean up spills, and make sure screaming kids don’t get harmed or cause harm to others. Amazing where my 25 years of education has brought me.
Life is thrilling.
But you know, hospitality should be at the very core of every child of God. So it should be more than just an occupation for a paycheck. The job as an occupation is not enough. It needs to be part of who I am.
Scripture says much about hospitality. It deserves an in depth study by every believer.
Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. – Romans 12:13 (ESV)
Let’s look at some general Biblical principles …
– We are to seek out strangers and Christian brethren alike. Actively seeking to to be loving and caring. Rom 12.13, Heb 13.2
– We are to do it without complaining. Our attitude is important for we don’t do it for the slobs and whinny peeps, we do it for the Lord first. 1Pet 4.9, Col 3.23
– We don’t do it to get something out of it, there should be a lifestyle of generosity and selflessness. Luke 6.38
– We are to be intentional about being hospitable to those in vocational ministry. 3John 1.7-8
– It reflects the Gospel. We have been invited in by the Lord and we should be His agents for others.
– Hospitality unifies the church as we reach out to strangers and family members together.
– It is good for the giver for it reveals our true self … thus revealing selfishness and pride, and thus allowing God to work in our lives too.
– It is great for the next generation. They see love and concern for others. They catch what they see.
– Hospitality is expensive. It takes time, money, effort, and sacrifice. But the joy is better than the cost.
– It is worth it. As one author puts it … it sharpens the saw of God’s Word on our hard heart. We develop a heart like His.
Jesus identifies with the stranger, the outsider, the needy. Hospitality hones a distinctive Christian culture from within as it embraces evangelistic optimism, knowing that if God wills, strangers will become neighbors and neighbors will become part of the family of God. Who knows? This may happen at your kitchen table … or in a hotel at 3 in the morning … or at a fast food center around magic nuggets … anywhere.
Tomorrow … a little insight to a Greek tradition Xenia … and what it looks like when we practice hospitality. Till then, examine your heart. Are you seeking to show hospitality?