Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. (1 Peter 4:9 ESV)
Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. (Hebrews 13:2 ESV)
By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. (John 13:35 ESV)
There is nothing like gathering with friends around a kitchen table, sipping coffee and nibbling on homemade treats. Indeed, hospitality is one of life’s greatest joys. It is little wonder that scripture commands it. Our good Father knows how to give good gifts to his children.
Though the door to my bedroom is shut, I can hear a chattering din emanating from my little brother’s room. A family of nine are here for the afternoon, and the kids are making much over the game of Life and the box of toy dinosaurs (several of which make mechanical roaring noises every few minutes). Further off, I can hear the ebb and flow of the grown-ups in the living room, sharing life and it’s ups and downs.
Several years ago, my family discovered a little book titled The Hospitality Commands by Alexander Strauch. In it, Strauch examines how we, as Christians, are called to love each other.
As brothers and sisters in Christ, we are to be a close-knit family. We are to be together, love one another, and care for one another. We cannot do this when our doors are closed. Hospitality, then, is a beautiful expression of our transformed lives being offered wholly to God. … The New Testament does not suggest that only certain people or certain cultures have the ability to show hospitality. Rather, it portrays hospitality as an essential part of brotherly and sisterly love and Christian community. (34)
Personally, one of my favorite parts of practicing hospitality is cooking for other people. In honor of our guests, I spent the morning making some Danish Pastry Apple Bars. I’m looking forward to slicing them up this evening.
For now, I’d better get back to our guests.