Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it. Hebrews 13:2 (New Revised Standard Version)
What comes to mind when you hear the word “hospitality?”
When my ears hear hospitality, my mind immediately goes to my maternal grandmother’s home. No matter when I walked in the door there was a lavish spread of food out on the table, a smorgasbord of goodness on which to feast while we visited. She made me feel like the most welcomed guest, pulling out foods she had that she knew I loved.
When my ears hear hospitality, my heart remembers that my mother taught me to cherish and love without reserve every guest that enters your home. I learned that most clearly on a wintery and icy night. A woman had an accident outside our home. It was clear that even an ambulance would have challenging travel conditions and that a wait might be lengthy. So my mother welcomed this woman into our home, propping up the woman’s broken leg on a few pillows, while we waited for the ambulance.
When my ears hear hospitality, my soul remembers the way a woman, we’ll call her Lois, was welcomed into the church community, just as she was, coming straight from the middle of her substance abuse rehab program. Rather than steering clear of her, lavish love and generous welcome was given to her and the church was the church at it’s best.
Christian hospitality in the church is a generous and lavish demonstration of welcome to anyone who comes among us. In the church true hospitality isn’t a program we do or an act of membership recruitment. True hospitality welcomes the stranger among us that they might experience in us God’s gracious welcome of them.
How might the people of Glendale provide hospitality…
…to guests to worship?
…to our Russian School tenants?
…to the members of the Hispanic Church that meets here?
…to our youth?
…to our “seasoned” members?
I am listening for your voice in the conversation…so what do you think?
Pastor Becky Jo Messenbrink