Most of us view our homes as a sanctuary. A safe place where we can hide from the world. It’s ours. No matter how chaotic the world seems, at home we have a sense of control. Letting others in threatens that sense of control.
We may think:
- What if they judge me or my cooking or my decorating or housekeeping?
- What if I don’t like them?
- What if they stay too long?
- What if they expect too much of our relationship?
- I don’t want to do the work. This will just be uncomfortable!
God has a bit different take on the situation and that can feel scary. He actually thinks everything is HIS, and we’re just caretakers – charged with using our homes, our cars, our money to further His kingdom of loving care. Hospitality is a high value in the kingdom as we see in these passages.
Genesis 18: 1-8 The Lord appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day. Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he hurried from the entrance of his tent to meet them and bowed low to the ground.
He said, “If I have found favor in your eyes, my lord, do not pass your servant by. Let a little water be brought, and then you may all wash your feet and rest under this tree. Let me get you something to eat, so you can be refreshed and then go on your way—now that you have come to your servant.”
“Very well,” they answered, “do as you say.”
So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah. “Quick,” he said, “get three seahs of the finest flour and knead it and bake some bread.”
Then he ran to the herd and selected a choice, tender calf and gave it to a servant, who hurried to prepare it. He then brought some curds and milk and the calf that had been prepared, and set these before them. While they ate, he stood near them under a tree.
Hebrews 13:1-2 Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.
I LOVE the idea a friend of mine has initiated! She calls it “Front Porch Fridays” and invites friends to drop by for drinks and appetizers from 4:00 on!
Neighboring challenge: Actually invite your neighbors over! I know this can be scary, but think of it as an adventure! You could do:
- a cookout
- a Saturday morning bagel bash
- a potluck where each family brings a dish that tells something about their heritage
- or “Sundaes on Sunday” like we did
I was nervous that no one would show up, but EVERYONE came! We made it short (7:00-8:00) and as simple as possible – sundaes or root beer floats. Try it and let me know what happens!