One person has stated that hospitality is resistance. In a world that caters to the rich, uber-gifted and best looking, true Biblical hospitality is a prophetic voice. When the larger empire disregards and dishonors certain persons, small acts of respect and welcome are powerful gestures of a greater Kingdom! The apostle Paul commanded the Christian as part of what it means to “offer our bodies a living sacrifice…” to “…practice hospitality.” This is not an option. This really is what is amazingly attractive about Jesus for me. He was not a respecter of persons. I find myself in this dual processing battle daily on how to mete out my “precious” time, but Jesus seemed to sashay through the daily with an ease and acceptance of the moment…that each person he met held the same value and importance as the next, and he stopped and ate. He broke bread and drank (Luke 5:30) with people who probably could or would never repay him.
Counter-culturalism at its finest.
Luke 14:12-14 (The Message) – Then he turned to the host. “The next time you put on a dinner, don’t just invite your friends and family and rich neighbors, the kind of people who will return the favor. Invite some people who never get invited out, the misfits from the wrong side of the tracks. You’ll be—and experience—a blessing. They won’t be able to return the favor, but the favor will be returned—oh, how it will be returned!—at the resurrection of God’s people.”
Here is an application: As you head into the Christmas season, a season that can end up quite busy, who might you include that would be a true gesture of love and hospitality? Someone, maybe only one, who might not ordinarily get invited into your world of events and gatherings?
Why not break from the norm and be an includer?