A few weeks ago I started participating in a Bible study on Biblical hospitality. The book is by an author that I have not read yet, Jen Schmidt, and I am enjoying it very much!
Before starting this study, I had been concerned that maybe I was being disobedient to God’s call for us to show hospitality because I don’t have people over to our house very often, and when I do it’s usually family members.
But this study is eye opening for me. It talks about how we can do hospitality on the go and that hospitality is synonymous with serving others.
So I can feed a homeless person on the street, far away from my home, and that is Biblical hospitality.
Some other ways to serve others that would be considered hospitality would be:
- getting out of our comfort zone in public and serving others with an encouraging smile,
- bandaging the wounds of someone in need,
- sharing our street vendor food with a hungry stranger,
- offering a cold bottle of water to thirsty strangers,
- helping a stranded motorist get back on the road,
- visiting the sick,
- visiting shut ins in their own home, since they can’t come to ours,
- taking food to the grieving and/or letting them cry on our shoulder.
Jesus showed this kind of hospitality by healing the sick many, many times, and He even raised a few people from the dead. We may not have the gift of healing in the way that He did, but we can visit the sick, hold their hands, pray with them, and rejoice when they rejoice and weep with them when they weep. We can also pray with them on the spot when they ask for prayer, whether in the pews at church, at the altar, over the phone, or in the car…
We can also show Biblical hospitality by:
- meeting someone in need of encouragement at the park for a potluck picnic to let them know we care,
- meeting a friend at a restaurant and spending time ministering to her there,
- introducing ourselves to visitors at church and doing everything in our power to make them feel welcome,
- inviting someone to join us for ice cream at the local ice cream parlor.
Jesus was the perfect model of this kind of hospitality. He showed hospitality to John’s two disciples at the very beginning of His ministry (John 1:38,39) And He showed hospitality in the upper room by washing the disciples’ feet at the very end of His ministry.
He also showed hospitality by feeding the 5,000 and the 4,000 out in the open air. He and His disciples worked together to seat the people in groups, to distribute the food, and to collect all the leftovers so nothing would be wasted.
Today the Lord led me to a local healthy grocery store at lunch time. A sister from church was just entering when I got there. Instead of standing and gabbing in the store, I asked her if she wanted to have lunch in the little café that is a part of the store. It’s amazing how eating together brings about relaxed conversation! We had such a good time of fellowship!
What a blessing the Lord gives us when He tells us to show hospitality, whether it is in our home or somewhere else! As we minister to one another, we strengthen our relationships. He knows what is good for us!
Now, let’s seek His guidance and help so we can walk according to His plan every day. Then we can receive the blessings He wants to give us through our obedience!
Lord, please help us to follow Jesus’ example and to be more hospitable, wherever we are. Please lead us and guide us and give us the wisdom and courage to step out in faith and show Your love to others that You put in our paths.