I was studying the word "hospitality" today. It comes from two words: "philos" meaning to show mutual love to one another and "xenos" meaning stranger.
Hospitality is showing mutual love to strangers. It means displaying Chrit's love to strangers. How do we do this? We are all called to do this, not just those who work in a ministry called "hospitality".
Who is a stranger?
A stranger is someone you do not currently know. It can be someone you meet today. A next door neighbor. A stranger can be someone you see every day but do not know. You work with them. You live beside them. You go to your kid's ballgames with them. Strangers are closer than you think.
How can we show hospitality to a stranger?
Matthew 25:35 says, "I was a stranger and you took Me in." Providing food and shelter are basic ways. But is is much more than that. We have to be attentive to the needs of those around us. If we hear of a need and help meet it, we are being hospitable.
What keeps us from being hospitable?
You name it. Time, fear, busyness, lack of compassion. There can be numerous things that keep us from helping others. It is also hard to help those you are not connected with. Building a relationship with those around you is vital for hospitality.
How can I be more hospitable?
LISTEN! Listen for situations in other's lives today that you can offer advice, assistance or acceptance. We have to get our eyes off our own little world so we can see others.
Jesus said Matthew 25:35 and others asked when they had ever done that? Jesus said, "The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'" (Matthew 25:40)
Remember these words in Hebrews 13:1-2: "Keep on loving each other as brothers. Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it."