Space for Opportunities

When you think about hospitality, are you like me and feel a little challenged? We can find some encouragement in the fact that the Bible teaches us to “practice hospitality” (Rom. 12:13). It gives us the idea that we don’t have to be perfect. We are practicing!

I was reminded of this recently, as we had a beautiful Hispanic family over for a meal. The parents have been believers for about 8 years. They radiate God’s goodness and are seeking to know His will in their lives and what mission God has for them. It was a simple slow cooker meal with water and chocolate chip cookies. And a candle. And smiles. And laughter. And checkers. And music. And a bottle for the baby. And sharing. And God. We were all tired after a long day, but we were better together. What a blessing. I am still enjoying the renewing warmth of just being the family of God.

I’ve thought recently that hospitality can be a form of worship. We celebrate and proclaim the goodness of God and all that He is doing in our lives. Even with those not yet believing, surely this is a deeper way to share the love of Christ as we literally offer our hands and feet, our food, our time, our care, and our concern and prayer. As we offer our homes, we can go deeper in showing God’s love in tangible ways. Even if we are stretched or tired, we can rest together and watch a good movie or sporting event. Maybe this summer, we could share our lives just a little bit more and see what happens. Creating space for some of these opportunities might just be what someone needs to believe in God as the loving Savior He really is.

I am reminded of Jesus’ words in Matthew 11:28: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Maybe hospitality is a way of offering God’s rest. We don’t have to have all the answers. We are following Jesus, Who does. We are just following Him together. And He will use it.

Jesus also said, “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matt. 5:14–16).

We don’t have to produce light. God produces the light in us. We can be open, inviting people into our lives and our homes. They will see God’s light naturally. We are not perfect. We are in process. And it’s OK for others to see what we are becoming. May we open the door.

Share your stories of hospitality or any other thoughts as you are leading your group. Write me at LHarper@wmu.org. We are on this journey together. God bless you as you practice.

Laura Harper is ministry consultant to adult audiences at WMU. She loves her family, coffee, chocolate, and all things missions.

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