Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Hospitality (02/07/05)
TITLE: Entertaining Strangers
By kazza walton
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The dictionary defines hospitality as friendly and generous reception of guests or strangers.
There are many examples of the patriarchs in the bible exercising this act of service.
In Genesis 18:2-8 we see Abraham greeting three angels and earnestly inviting them to share of his hospitality serving them himself, while Sarah his wife took care to make ready provisions for his guests.
Do we in church go out of our way to entertain the strangers among us? No matter the cost to us in time or resources?
In Genesis 19:1-2 we see Lot waiting at the city gate to receive such guests as might come through.
This speaks not only of practicing hospitality to those who he might come upon but actually going out of his way to make sure he did encounter visitors to his town.
How active are we in going out of our way to encounter those new to our church, schools, workplaces, neighbourhoods, towns?
In Hebrews 13:2 Paul encourages the brethren to follow these examples for in so doing you also may unknowingly entertain angels under the form of men. What a blessing for us!
The Apostles Peter and Paul encourage the faithful to exercise hospitality as in 1 Peter 4:9 “ Use hospitality to one another without grudging.”
( Your attitude has too be right) Or 1Timothy3: 2 “Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self controlled, respectable, HOSPITABLE.”
So we see that it is a characteristic needed in those in authority within the church.
If you want to hold positions you need to be exercising hospitality.
Jesus even mentioned the need for hospitality in Mathew 10:40&42 “He that receiveth you receiveth me: and whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones, a cup of cold water, he shall in no wise loose his reward.”
There are blessings in hospitality.
Early Christians made hospitality an integral part of their lives for they were known for it among the heathens. How awesome is that!
One of the hallmarks of the faithful, that they were hospitable.
Failure to practice hospitality is also mentioned by Jesus in Mathew 25:41-45 with some serious consequences.
“ For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.” (42-43)
He will reply, “ I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.” (45) Then they will go away for eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life. (46)
Hospitality is an act of service that needs to be exercised regularly, one of the spiritual muscles within our framework, the more you use it the stronger it becomes.
So as far as I can see if it was important enough for Jesus to mention it, then it is important enough for me to develop it.
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