The essence of hospitality is a heart open to God, with room prepared for the Guestness of the Holy Spirit, that welcomes the presence of Christ. This is what we share with those to whom we open our doors. We give them Christ. - Karen Burton Mains
As I stood in line last night at the polling place, there was a unique sense of tension. Strangers and neighbors met for the first time, longtime colleagues sharing why they waited to vote until the evening, and the awkward conversation about propositions and candidates.
If you are like me, you woke up this morning and perhaps even before morning prayer checked in to see the results from the election. (Side note: I recommend praying before checking election results). You saw some things you voted yes or no for that had the opposite outcome that you hoped for. Perhaps even candidates you wanted didn’t win the elected seat that would more accurately represent you and your heritage.
Hospitality creates a safe, open space where a friend or stranger can enter and experience the welcoming spirit of Christ in another. - Calhoun (161)
My prayer today is that we continue to pursue Christ through genuine hospitality toward another. Today (and honestly, every day) is not a day to boast or demean, to deify or dehumanize.
Today we show hospitality, to the stranger in our midst who does not feel safe, let us give them Christ. To the now-represented-minority, we give them Christ. To the person who does not feel represented, we give them Christ. To the folks who spent millions of dollars on campaigning, we give them Christ. To the politician, facebook friend, neighbor, classmate, co-worker, or any-other-person-who-disagrees-with-you, we give them Christ.
Practicing Hospitality doesn’t have to be an expensive charcuterie platter or fine wine. Hospitality can take place in your home, park, or street corner. Hospitality is a demonstration, an act of Christ toward another, creating a safe place.
Scriptures for Meditation:
Romans 15.7 - So welcome each other, in the same way that Christ also welcomes you, for God’s glory.
Mark 12.30-31 - And you must love the Lord your God with all of your heart, with all of your being, with all of your mind, and with all of your strength. Love your neighbor as yourself. No other commandment is greater than these.
Examples for Consideration:
Sharing your home, food, money so another can experience the welcoming heart of God
Loving, not entertaining, the guest in your presence
Inviting others, the outcast, for meals or drinks
Looking one another in the eyes, saying thank you, and genuinely honoring the dignity of the other
Honor and celebrate another person (My family has a tradition of going out to dinner to celebrate others)
Questions for Contemplation:
When have you been so deeply received and loved that the welcome touched your soul?
How comfortable are you asking the outcast in your midst to have a meal? Why?
Who models hospitality for you?
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