What Is Hospitality, Really?
Open Your Bible
Romans 12:9-13, Matthew 9:9-13, Matthew 19:13-14
Text: Romans 12:9-13, Matthew 9:9-13, Matthew 19:13-14
Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
– Romans 12:13, NIV
I’m a nervous pinner. In fact, it may be accurate to say I have Pinterest-related anxiety.
My Pinterest activity has been sporadic at best, save for the three nights after I discovered the internet wonder and stayed up until 2 a.m. pinning my little heart out.
My problem is not the internet or the amazing ideas it holds. My problem is that Pinning Amanda and Real-Life Amanda have very little in common. Pinning Amanda is all about more — more recipes she’ll never make, more crafts her kids will never do, more design ideas than any human being could ever incorporate into an actual home with actual people who live within an actual budget. Real-Life Amanda is just trying to feed her family something other than cereal for dinner.
It’s easy to forget that “most” doesn’t equal “best,” isn’t it?
When I hear the word “hospitality,” I think about all the wrong things. I think about those amazing four-layer cakes in Southern Living magazine. I remember the women in my small, Alabama hometown who know how to throw an impeccable wedding shower. I imagine the impressive meals I’ll host for my friends one day when my life is less messy and chaotic, more orderly and magazine-esque. In short, I think about all the reasons hospitality does not fit into to my real, right-now life.
I hear my world telling me that hospitality demands more.
Meanwhile, my life feels like less.
And then I open the Bible.
I read about Jesus sitting around a table with the shunned and the sinners in Matthew 9.
I see Him in John 4, sharing well water and conversation with a woman everyone else ignored.
In Matthew 19, I watch Him invite—not just tolerate—the presence of little children and the beautiful distraction they bring.
When I look at Jesus, our culture’s false definition of hospitality as dinner invitations and etiquette, clean homes and casseroles, pales in light of the bold example of the most radically welcoming person who’s ever lived.
In Jesus we see that hospitality begins in the heart.
After all, the Gospel applies here, too. We’re all rag-tag sojourners being welcomed in by the Creator, sinners being redeemed by the Savior. No one was more hospitable than Jesus, and we can only extend true hospitality in Jesus.
But how? If all those party planning and design ideas on my PInterest boards don’t look true hospitality, then what does?
Lean in close with us these next 13 days as we rediscover the true definition of biblical hospitality, as we dig deep into God’s Word together and learn from the example of Jesus Christ, our radically hospitable Host.
May He change the posture of our hearts to look more like His.
The Hospitality reading plan was created by She Reads Truth in collaboration with our friends at Allume, a conference that gathers women to connect, learn, grow, and be refreshed as they bring the hope of Jesus to the world through their spheres of influence. The plan features guest writing from Logan Wolfram, Allume Executive Director, as well as author and Allume co-host, Sarah Mae, and author Annie F. Downs.
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