by susan on June 11, 2014

hospitalityWhat do you think of when you hear the word hospitality? Do you think of a meal with friends? Being entertained by a host? Being welcomed into someone’s home?

We have all encountered people and experiences that have made us feel welcomed and these encounters are part of hospitality. In the story of scripture and in ancient Jewish and Christian tradition though, there is more. Hospitality was not just about friends and family getting together, it was primarily about welcoming strangers. According to Marjorie Thompson, “hospitality to strangers was a matter of mutual survival. It was a kind of social covenant, an implied commitment to transcend human differences in order to meet common human needs” (Soul Feast, 120).

Hospitality was also a core value in the teachings and life of Jesus. After all, Jesus came as God in the flesh, welcoming us all to eat, drink and find the fullness of life through him. He offered food and drink, both physical and spiritual for the hungry and thirsty, and invited all to follow him. Hospitality was also a central practice in the early church and in the writings of early church leaders. Sharing homes, meals and life together was the primary way the gospel was learned and spread within communities and even around the world.

Today, in our highly individualistic and mobile culture that longs for meaningful relationship, what would it look like for us to recover the practice of hospitality? How might it heal us and transform us? How might it help us share the love and welcome that we have received as God’s beloved children?

During our summer worship gatherings (June-July), we will be revisiting hospitality. Join us Sunday mornings at 10 a.m. for breakfast and worship will begin at 10:30. We will pray, sing, share and explore scripture together. We welcome your presence and believe we have much to learn from one another.

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