Hospitality is the friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers. The way we treat guests, visitors and strangers says a lot about us as people.
In 1 Peter 4:9 we are told to show hospitality to one another without grumbling. And it’s a concept that had been woven into the fabric of God’s people for generations.
In Leviticus 19:34, the Lord commanded his people: You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.
As Christians, we build our lives on the fact that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8. He didn’t grumble or complain, but went willingly to the cross to die for our sins because He loves us so much.
When we show hospitality to guests, visitors and strangers, we are demonstrating the love of Jesus in a tangible way, and this is Christian ministry.
Sunday mornings, the coffee, fruit and cakes that show up don't happen by accident. It takes the combined efforts of people with servant hearts. They provide ingredients and bake the delicious breads and sweets offered on Sunday mornings. Coffee is brewed early before church begins and is set out along with a variety of tea, cocoa, hot cider and something cool and tasty for the kids.
We also make sure tables are set up and ready for special events such as our Body Life meetings and shared meals. Afterward, we take care of clean up.
We do hospitality because it shows the love of Jesus. It’s a concrete act of grace that we can offer to everyone who walks in the door. We do it to show our love for each other. We do it because it needs to be done.
But, ultimately, we do it in the hopes that guests, visitors and strangers will see Jesus in us. We pray that those who are seeking truth will be touched by this simple expression of unconditional love. And we trust that in our obedience, we offer God something He can use to draw searching souls to believe in Jesus; to receive the gift of eternal life and become part of the household of faith.
Now that’s a lot to expect from a cup of coffee and a piece of banana bread. But this is God’s church and you’d be surprised what God can do when you mix faith, hope and love.
Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
If you’d like to help in this ministry, talk to Mary Jo Aitken. She’d love to find a place for you to serve.