Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers.
Sometimes a simple book title can say all that needs to be said. In 2019 an author by the name of Alisha Anderson came out with a book with just such a title. The title of her book is The Lost Art of Hospitality.
Many observers of our present culture have remarked that more and more people seem to feel uncomfortable when it comes to practicing hospitality on a personal level. There could be many social reasons for this, of course. Perhaps the “professional” side of hospitality has been elbowing out the personal side. Perhaps the frantic pace of Twenty-first Century life has discouraged personal hospitality. Or perhaps the term coined back in the 90s, “cocooning,” which describes the tendency for people to curl up by themselves within their own homes—perhaps that is making an impact too.
Whatever the reasons, you and I do well to pause and give this some thought. Have I given in to the self-absorbed culture to such a degree that I no longer focus on making someone else feel appreciated, accepted, comfortable, welcome? To the degree that I have fallen short in this area of my life, I need to come to repentance before the God who calls upon me to do just that in my relationships with others.
And this is where Jesus comes in. Wherever he traveled, he took deliberate care to make others feel valued and welcome. Jesus did this on our behalf. He also went to the cross to wash us clean of all of our self-absorbed moments. Through faith in him, we stand forgiven, embraced, accepted.
How can I thank him for this? I don’t necessarily need to go out and compel a family to stay in my home for a week. But maybe I could invite someone out for a cup of coffee and give that person my undivided attention. Or invite someone out to a park with a couple of fast-food milkshakes. Or maybe I could open my humble home for a couple of hours to share a pizza. Whatever I do, I do it to thank the Lord Jesus for all he has done to care about me.
Lord Jesus, thank you for seeking me out. Move me to show the same kind of care for others. Amen.