Hospitality is a spiritual practice and discipline that builds community life and a call to carry on the ministry of Jesus. It is intended to provide relief, care, and protection to the stranger who shows up in need at our door. Hospitality is meant to be available, to be experienced, to be practiced, to be learned, and to be shared out, in gratitude and compassion.It acknowledges and dignifies the presence of God in all people, whether they be strangers, foreigners, or simply outside of our particular tribe. One could say that hospitality is a form of love. Hospitality is not a choice for Christians at all; it is a sacred obligation. It is a Gospel warrant. It is in and through hospitality that we meet, experience, and encounter God in our daily life and work. In this era of social fragmentation and great, great need, let us practice abundant, extravagant, over-the-top hospitality — to be counter-cultural witnesses to the holiness of life-in-God.
Adapted from Trinity Church
Open my mind and my heart.
Examine who you regard as stranger to be excluded. Why? How valid are your reasons? How do they stand up against the gospel vision? What must you do?
Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed.
Be sure to welcome strangers into your home. By doing this, some people have welcomed angels as guests, without even knowing it.
It’s not easy to put ourselves in another person’s shoes, especially those very different from us, and this can cause us to have doubts and fears. Having doubts and fears is not a sin. The sin is to allow these fears to determine our responses, to limit our choices, to compromise respect and generosity, to feed hostility and rejection. The sin is to refuse to encounter the other, to encounter the different, to encounter the neighbor, when this is in fact a privileged opportunity to encounter the Lord.
True hospitality is marked by an open response to the dignity of each and every person.
Hospitality is the practice of God’s welcome by reaching across difference to participate in God’s actions bringing justice and healing to our world in crisis.
Letty M. Russell
Hospitality means primarily the creation of free space where the stranger can enter and become a friend instead of an enemy. Hospitality is not to change people, but to offer them space where change can take place. It is not to bring men and women over to our side, but to offer freedom not disturbed by dividing lines.
Henri J. M. Nouwen
A soul of hospitality and a heart of humanity is a house of love, peace, freedom, liberty and justice.
Hospitality should have no other nature than love.
As far back as you want to go in the history of God’s people, one of the duties of the righteous was hospitality–by which I mean the willingness to welcome people into your home who don’t ordinarily belong there.
Engaging in radically ordinary hospitality means we provide the time necessary to build strong relationships with people who think differently than we do as well as build strong relationships from within the family of God.
A cold, unwelcoming church contradicts the gospel message.
Although we often think of hospitality as a tame and pleasant practice, Christian hospitality has always had a subversive countercultural dimension.
Christine D. Pohl