Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Don't have a fine, grand home as the one pictured above? It doesn't matter! Christian hospitality is not defined by the Martha Stewarts of the world but instead we must seek God's definition as week seek to live this beautiful and forgotten ministry out in our homes.
The home is central and becomes the hub of ministry when we understand the important, influencing power that hospitality had yesterday and I am quite happy to say, today as well. In the holy scriptures we see that the early churches began in homes---what a wonderful thought! Our homes to be churches to fellow Christians and the lost! A place where encouragment permeates the walls and where the unsaved can hear the gospel. Such is a noble and weighty responsibility on our Christian homes.
When we put the worlds definition of hospitality in front of us this entire concept quickly turns into 'entertainment'. We think we must have the prettiest tablecloth, the nicest artwork, the current trendy furniture, the gourmet hor d'ouvres, the sparkling and witty conversation. What have we reduced hospitality to? Is it nothing but trying to impress others so that we might gain praise in this arena? Or that they might think highly of ourselves than they should?
The most comfortable homes I've been to were not homes that were immaculately clean. No, they were 'lived in homes' where some things might have been out of place and unwashed dishes left in the sink! A stark contrast to what the current magazines of our day dictate to us of how perfect entertaining should be!
True hospitality is not about ourselves, instead it is a ministry and service the others. It provides a listening ear in times of troubles, it is a comforting hug during times of grief. It is an encouragment for the discouraged. It is mentoring for the hungry. It is a church for those who are seeking God. A place where we see sermons lived out in the lives of the who profess Him as King.
What sacrifice would it be to us to invite in a neighbor into our homes at the spur of the moment and offer them something as simple as a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with heaps of love and caring than to offer them nothing at all because we 'haven't the time to clean our homes and prepare a magnificient meal' to impress them.Which reflects more of God's love?
Let us continue to learn more about this subject and how we can please the Lord with a true heart of hospitality that puts others first and ourselves last.
"When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends or your bothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return, and repayment come to you. But when you give a reception, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, since they do not have the means to repay you; for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous." Luke 14:12-14