Biblical Definition of Hospitality according to Strong's... "Fond of Guests"
At times I have thought our house has a revolving door...guests come, guest go, guests come... I have been tired...I have not wanted just one more person to enter through that door. Give me my space. I want to work on my new Bible study. I want to do a word search on kindness. I want to organize my prayer notebook. I want to ...do my own thing, but I do not want to be hospitable to anyone right now. Selfish. Sometimes these thoughts have taken control of my mind(and heart). I have not wanted to be "fond of Guests"!
This was what I was thinking about this earlier in the weekend. See we had 7 over night visitors beginning on Friday , and then an additional 3 dinner guests on Saturday night and still another guest for tonight. This gives me a really good opportunity to exam my own heart.
I had an adventuresome week this past week. Lots of things are happening in our lives. (for instance my car breaking down on me and my 13 year old daughter while in Springfield, MA -- 1.5 hours from home -- when the car is working.) Must I have guests right now?? Am I fond of Guests?
Don't get me wrong...I enjoy having people over...I love meeting new people...I like to open my house to both friends and strangers(ones who will be friends).
I have some thoughts....
Not only is hospitality a fundamental expression of Christian faith, it is also a fundamental outworking of love.
Romans 12:10-13 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.fundamental outworking of love.
Hospitality is not serving up some outstanding meal...it is serving in love and humbleness. This is not dependent on the setting, but something of the spirit of Jesus. Guests are pulled into warmth and delight by our taking a genuine interest in them. It is a true gift simply to listen to another's worries and fears(we all have them). Lifting them up verbally to God in prayer is surely a facet of Christian hospitality that any disciple can offer a guest.
We as Christians are in the world to reflect the love of the Lord. Not everyone was an office in the local church, many have no special talents, but most all Christians have homes, and any home where Christ is Lord can be the setting for welcoming other in the name of Jesus.
1 Peter 4:9-10 Use hospitality one to another without grudging. As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
Our guests won't remember what the elaborate dinner was or how the tastefully decorated house...they won't even remember the dust on the book shelves or the burnt chicken legs...they will remember conversations and moments together. They will remember the midnight discussions, the laughter at silly things, the tears that are shed during times of pray, the songs sung together...simply the times of just loving one another.
Hebrews 13:2 Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
Games were played, videos were watched, friendships were made.
Laughter abounded, children played, babies entertained us
Prayers were lifted up, counsel was given, meals were enjoyed
Pictures were taken.
Some young folks and some older folks with several ages tossed in the middle.
Music filled the air.
My problems from the past week are still very real and still problems. The "important" things that I didn't get done are still undone. The roof is still leaking, the garage is still flooded, the car is still not working, the freezer is still broken...the house was dusty, the meals were simple...but I am blessed tremendously from loving and serving our guests. If only they knew that the Lord used them to bless the heart and soul of this hostess.
So Lord...open our doors again...keep me "fond of guests".