05 Dec Hospitality
“Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.” Hebrews 13:2 (NIV)
December is a specific time of the year when hospitality is most emphasized. Christmas decorations go up, fragrances flow from kitchens, friends send notes of gratitude, and neighbors gather to share meals. It is undeniably a favorite time of the year for most of us.
The word hospitality comes from the Latin word “hospes,” meaning guest or stranger. Hmmm…. Today, are we hospitable to strangers? I wonder. Has our culture made us afraid of strangers – people “different” from our circle of friends? With this in mind, I am taking a look at who I serve and who I host. Christians were known for hospitality in the early church – they shared everything with open hands and open homes every day of the year to everyone. It was their way of life with Jesus as their role model (Luke 14).
Genuine hospitality is not only opening our home and our heart to one another, but it is giving someone a safe place to grow into who God knows they are. It turns strangers into friends and friends into family. Henri Nouwen describes hospitality beautifully, “Hospitality is not to change people, but to offer them space where change can take place.”
Let us continue each day in this Christmas spirit of hospitality and generosity toward others. Let us be attentive to people throughout the year. Hospitality can heal our world. Let it not be expressed only at the end of the year during the Christmas season. Let it be the beginning of each day.