Creating Space: Christ and Hospitality

Creating space for others—it’s what I think of when I focus on hospitality. And as mothers, we know a thing or two about creating space for other people. I would imagine a few of you have some little person invading your space even as you read this.

A long, wooden table filled a spread worthy of Pinterest with fresh bread, decorations for the season, chicken spiced and cooked well, and vegetables straight from the garden—this is what I believe our culture wants us to think of hospitality.

Oftentimes, we get caught up in the external features of hospitality and forget the internal characteristics of what it means to be hospitable people. However, as we look at Scripture and the example Christ set for us, we find a hospitality focusing much more on the relationship between the guest and the host rather than the presentation.

Christ welcomed the least of these.

All throughout the Gospels, we see Jesus dining with tax collectors and sinners to the point that the religious leaders were actually upset with Him for it. They questioned His motives and wondered why He would subject Himself to creating space for those who were (in their eyes) so far beneath Him and His teachings. Yet we find Christ explaining that He did “not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Luke 5:31). In our own lives, how many times are we willing to engage our best friends yet afraid to have a conversation with our unknown neighbors?

Christ welcomed His disciples.

Eating and drinking with His disciples seemed to be an important piece of Christ’s ministry on earth. One of the most important dinners was the Passover dinner before He died. He broke bread with His disciples—sharing the communion table with them—equally sitting at a table with those whom He was discipling. And He used this opportunity to point them to the gospel through the communion elements He gave. What are some ways we could use our table to draw those we are discipling to Christ?

Christ welcomed new life.

Revelation 19:6­­–9 finds us at a final banquet table—a wedding feast where the Lord and His bride will celebrate their union. New life can be heard all around as “the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters,” begins to cry out “Hallelujah!” What an amazing image this gives us at a marriage supper where Christ has created space for His bride—the very essence of what we are to look forward to as believers.

As moms, we know very well what it means to create space for new life. Some of us had to make space literally within our bodies for new life to be created, and some of us created space within our hearts for our little ones. Yet all of us have had to lose a piece of ourselves to make space for others to occupy our time, our energy, our love, and our life. We have had to make sacrifices in order for this new life to flourish. What are some ways we can continue to lay down our lives for the sake of our children and others to be shown new life in Christ?

Christ modeled for us what creating space for a new life means. He has given us a perfect example to follow as we seek to be a grand hostess to our guests. And we can look to His example as we welcome the least of these, lead those we mentor more toward Christ, continue to allow others to occupy our space, and ensure we create room for others in our life and home.

​Bekah Rivers* is a momma to a darling little girl (and a sweet pup), wife to a pastor, and an advocate for all believers to be on mission.

*Name changed.

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