The Purpose Behind Christian Hospitality
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Shortly after we were married, my husband and I moved hundreds of miles away from our hometown to go to college. We were strangers to nearly everyone in our new town. Not long after arriving, we ended up going to a church where we were warmly welcomed and shown what Christian hospitality is all about.
Sunday dinners, Saturday afternoon boat rides on the river, Friday night hangouts: we were often the only non-family members at these gatherings- but we were treated like family. People kept inviting us into their homes and into their lives at a time when we really needed it.
I’m not sure why we even showed up that very first Sunday. In our minds, we were very close to being done with church. But I know why we returned the next week- and why we made that church our home. It was because we felt the love of Jesus through the love of His people. We loved that community.
Our time in that college town changed the course of our lives. We both look back on that time and place as where our relationships with God and our faith became more personal to us. I believe hospitality played a big part in that.
Why does God ask Christians to show hospitality? What is the purpose?
It’s about His glory!
God has shown his grace to us. He has welcomed us into his family. We are called to do the same for others.
When we welcome others into our lives and into our homes, it’s not about us. It’s about God’s glory.
The following three verses from the New Testament make it clear that hospitality is something all Christians are called to:
“Contribute to the needs of the saints, practice hospitality.” -Romans 12:13
“Above all hold unfailing your love for one another, since love covers a multitude of sins. Practice hospitality ungrudgingly to one another.” 1 Peter 4:8-9
"Let brotherly love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares." Hebrews 13:1-2
Naturally, many of us draw inward. Hospitality can go against our own selfish tendencies. But we can ask God to make our hearts like His. Grace is what we have been given and grace is what we are to give, cheerfully, to the glory of God.
Christian hospitality carries with it, eternal consequences. Think about the ways you can be strategic in the way you steward your home, your time, and your resources.
How can we reflect the glory of God to those around us and share the grace that we have been given?
Summer is a perfect time to practice hospitality! I’ll leave you with a challenge: look for at least two people over the next couple of months that you don’t yet know, people that you can start a conversation with and invite to a meal or coffee. Just be a friend!
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