There’s no question that hospitality truly is a gift, and it’s an incredible way to show Christ-likeness to people in our lives. I wish that I could tell you that I’m an incredibly hospitable person, but it just doesn’t come naturally for me. It’s something I have to constantly work on.
My friend Amy, however, has the gift of hospitality. She opens her home on a regular basis for friends to come over for dinner, and has hosted a ton of birthday parties this year. When I walk in the front door, I immediately feel like I’m at home. Amy’s office has the same effect. I love to sit in her comfy green chair and prop my feet up on the ottoman and talk about whatever’s on my mind.
Hospitality goes beyond entertaining. It’s not about the host, but about those being served. It’s a humble position, but one that makes an incredible impact.
Amy’s hospitality stretches far beyond her kitchen because it’s in her soul. It’s so much of who she is. She opens her heart and her door to those who are weary and in need, and ministry takes place within the walls of her home. The kids on her street know her as “Miss Amy” and she’ll let them come sit on the kitchen table and give them a snack while they talk about their day. There’s truly no one like her, and her gift of hospitality is evident in every area of her life.
In Scripture, we see several examples of hospitality:
“Don’t neglect to show hospitality, for by doing this some have welcomed angels as guests without knowing it.” (Hebrews 13:2)
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him. If he is thirsty, give him something to drink. For in so doing you will be heaping fiery coals on his head.” (Romans 12:20)
“Be hospitable to one another without complaining. Based on the gift each one has received, use it to serve others, as good managers of the varied grace of God.” (1 Peter 4:9-10)
Hospitality is an incredible way to be evangelistic. When’s the last time you had neighbors in your home or just on your porch for a cup of coffee or glass of lemonade? There’s something about opening up your home to others that puts everyone around you at ease. It’s not an old-fashioned thing, but it’s a part of being gracious to the people God puts in our lives. The hardest part for some people is that you can’t expect anything in return – hospitality does not demand repayment.
Even if you don’t think you have the gift of hospitality, we are all called to be hospitable. How is God calling you to be hospitable to those around you?