7th July 2012

The Only Sensible Response – Hospitality

“…given to (pursuing) hospitality.”
Romans 12:13 (NKJV)

Hospitality, according to Chambers Twentieth Century Dictionary, is ‘Friendly welcome and entertainment of guests.’

It doesn’t cost much to give a friendly welcome.  Many times we meet people who are having a bad day and it shows.  This is an opportunity to offer a smile or a cheery remark, perhaps to make some encouraging comment to lift the spirit of the other person.  We can so easily be the source of a little ray of sunshine brightening the lives of those we meet.  And who knows that might be just the very thing the person needs at that particular moment.

But the definition is wider than just a cheery hello and is more applicable to people we know, and perhaps especially in the context of church–after all the encouragement is written to the Church in Rome.

We have a unique opportunity with our fellow Christians to pursue hospitality.  Many congregations these days are composed of the elderly and this is a section of our society that is often in need, particularly of fellowship and friendship.  Church gives us the chance to know those in need and to offer the occasional ‘cup of tea’.  Hospitality is not necessarily the four course meal with all the best china.  Not many can afford this.  It is more taking the opportunity to show care and concern, to let others know they are part of the group and valued–that we want to share ourselves with them and to get to know them better.

But hospitality isn’t limited to church only.  We all live in little communities of one form or another and here again we can show hospitality which might only involve stopping to chat with someone outside their home, giving a little of our time to enquire how they are doing, do they have needs, are they facing difficulties, is there some way we can help?

To pursue hospitality is simply to be alert to the needs of others, to keep on the look-out for opportunities to help and encourage those we will meet in our daily routines, and occasionally going out of our way to help those we know are lonely and in need of company.

Father in heaven, thank you for the blessings you have given me.  Please help me to be alert to the needs of others and give me a heart to help when the opportunity  occurs.

Study by David Stirk

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