I am reading an interesting article called "Missional Church: A Community of Hospitality" from Allelon - At the beginning is this wonderful quote:
"Simultaneously costly and wonderfully rewarding, hospitality often involves small deaths and little resurrections. By God's grace we can grow more willing, more eager, to open the door to a needy neighbor, a weary sister or brother, a stranger in distress....In the midst of a life-giving practice, we too might catch glimpses of Jesus who asks for our welcome and welcomes us home."
There is so much in this paragraph to discuss. I turned to this article after spending 1.5 hours last night with a friend from church and his wife who have just lost a dear friend to cancer after a 10 year battle. To be able to sit with them and hear their stories of the friendship and to sit in silence as they grieved was a privilege indeed.
Although hospitality refers to inviting people into our homes I also think it involves allowing people into our space and time. In the 21st century time is increasingly at a premium. To give of our time and to spend that time with those in need is a precious gift.
I love the idea that hospitality involves "small deaths and little resurrections". It is costly and beautiful all in the same event.
"By God's grace we can become more willing, more eager to open the door..."
Some of us are natural empathetic but giving as an act of service to those in need can only be truly accomplished with God's grace. I didn't feel particularly equipped to minister to a grieving couple but I felt constrained as an act of obedience to Jesus.
The idea that Jesus asks for a welcome is an especially poignant idea. How busy are we to welcome Jesus. In welcoming those in need don't we invite in Jesus into our conversation of life?