Let me tell you a little story. Maybe you’ve heard it before, but stick with me.
There once was a lovely couple expecting a baby. For reasons beyond their control, they had to go on a long and difficult journey right before the woman was to be delivered. Now, this couple knew no one in the town to which they were traveling and, due to the woman’s condition slowing them down, they were pretty late to the gathering and couldn’t find anywhere to stay. Again and again, they reached out to people, hoping that they would find a welcome and that their needs would be met. It was getting later and later, and they were losing hope.
Enter a humble innkeeper. He was taking care of the guests already overflowing his small establishment when the man and woman knocked on his door. At first, he told them that he, too, had no vacancy. There was no more room in his inn. But then, he saw the woman’s condition and was moved to help them. He had a stable. It wasn’t very nice or clean, but it was shelter. If they were willing to overlook the inconveniences, he was willing to extend his hospitality to these weary travelers. He did this without formality and without concern about how the type of lodging might reflect on him. He saw a need and he generously gave what he had to the strangers.
I think we all know how the story ends.
What is Christian Hospitality?
Welcome one another, then, as Christ welcomed you, for the glory of God (Romans 15:7).
What do you think of when you hear the word hospitality? Maybe you think of dinner parties or a beautiful home. Restaurants or hotels might come to mind. You’re not wrong!
Webster’s Dictionary defines hospitality as “the friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers.”
So, what is Christian hospitality? I’d venture that it is exactly as Webster describes, but done for the greater honor and glory of God. In other words, it’s all about your motive and purpose.
Any time you welcome people into your home – no matter how messy or neat, large or small, informal or formal – you are sharing Christian hospitality. But how should you spend your time while others are there?
Please follow this link to read the rest of this post that I wrote as a contribution to the Blessed is She blog. I hope it encourages you this Christmas!
Photo credit goes to Blessed Is She.