God’s Heart of Hospitality–What It Is and How to Get One
Hospitality—in the biblical sense—is ready to serve anyone—without an expectation of receiving anything in return.
Unselfish. Generous. Expending itself, even at great inconvenience, even risk.
This is God’s heart of hospitality. In fact, He invented hospitality, and models it for us.
He was the world’s first host, creating food, a comfortable climate, and fun things for his first guest to do, like naming animals and tending to the garden. He even gave Adam a companion so he wouldn’t be lonely.
When Moses led Israel from Egypt into the desert, God hosted them there, providing food and water, and clothes that didn’t wear out.
God has particular concern for the helpless: the widow, the fatherless, the alien, the sick and the poor, not the hip, cool, rich, or influential. (Although He loves and cares for them too.)
This might expand our personal definition of hospitality, because we’re to be hospitable to those we don’t know, people who have nothing to add to our social status, and people who may pose a risk to us either socially, physically, or financially.
Risk. Inconvenience. Expense.
Divine hospitality’s focus is not on self as in I hope everyone is mega-impressed with what I’m doing here, and just to be sure I’ll Tweet, post to FB, Instagram and Pin.
No, in God’s economy, hospitality’s focus is serving the needs of your guest—whether that guest is the homeless guy on the corner who needs an Egg McMuffin and a blanket, the surprise bundle of joy announcing its presence on that pregnancy stick, or the Queen who dropped in this afternoon for a spot of tea. Devoid of self—focused on others.
Devoid of self—focused on others.
Let’s be honest. We need the power of the Holy Spirit to give us the attitude, the ability, even the desire to be this hospitable to others. Really, why should I? Why should you? Why put ourselves out there?
Because Jesus did the same for us.
What risk was it for Him to spend nine months in a peasant girl’s womb? What inconvenience was it for Him to walk this earth for three years, patiently teaching, healing, and living with people who would abandon Him in the hour of His greatest need? What expense was it for Him to die on a Roman cross? It cost Him everything.
Here’s the bottom line. The heart of hospitality is to show God’s love to the world. The supernatural, unselfish, generous, sacrificial love and care to people who desperately need to know that there is Someone who cares, Someone who can help, Someone who loves, Someone to save them. That’s hospitality.
We all need it. And after we’ve received it, we need to lavish it on others.
I’ll share some practical ways to show hospitality in my next post. But until then, what are some ways you’ve received hospitality? What happened? How did it make you feel?
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