Do you know that practicing hospitality is one of the ways Christians demonstrate their love for others? Romans 12:9-21 lists down all that constitute love in action. One of the qualities is hospitality. Hospitality is the act of being friendly and welcoming to guests and visitors. The Bible further instructs us to show hospitality to even strangers in Hebrews 13:2.
Hospitality is a biblical virtue that is very close to my heart. My family and I enjoy hosting families and friends at our home. It is our way of sharing God’s love and generosity. We do our best to make our guests feel welcome and comfortable in our home. We will plan the menu and do grocery shopping together. If children are coming over, we will prepare little gifts and plan activities for the children to interact with one another. My children will also eagerly share their books and toys with them. Usually, the entire family participates in the preparation together. Not only do we get to serve together, it also strengthens our family bonding! Even my children have caught on to the spirit of welcoming their friends to our home too!
The journey of practising hospitality isn’t always smooth sailing. Occasionally, there may be times our sincerity gets misconstrued, we feel unappreciated or taken for granted. But we surrender to the Lord knowing that God loves a cheerful giver! 2 Corinthians 9:7 tells us to decide in our hearts what to give so that we do it cheerfully as unto the Lord. God does not expect us to be perfect to be hospitable. We should seek to serve others in love to the best of our abilities, trusting that God will enable us to abound in every good work.
Besides, God promises that He will supply all our needs. So, even though we are not particularly affluent or resourceful, we are confident that we will never be in lack because God’s words never fail. On the contrary, we have often experienced joy and contentment in being used by God instead.
Many people misunderstand that hospitality is only about opening our homes and cooking a spread for our family and friends. Hence, they struggle with exercising God’s call to be hospitable for practical reasons like space constraints, lack of culinary skills or tight finances. Yes, this is one of the common ways to show hospitality, but thankfully is not the only way. We can be hospitable in so many other ways that do not require a home or a salary!
Biblical hospitality is about showing care, warmth, neighborliness and generosity in love and out of love for others. God wants His children to be set apart by the way we live. When we extend our hospitality to others, others experience Jesus Christ through us. Our hospitality reflects the character of God and it is the means in which we build a real godly community.
How can we be the torchbearers of God’s hospitality? How can you proactively show biblical hospitality to the people around you and contribute to their needs first? To make a meaningful difference, we mustn’t view meeting needs, serving and blessing others as inconveniences to ourselves; and we mustn’t complain. Instead, let’s be grateful for this privilege!
The early Christians shared whatever they had, welcomed Jesus and His disciples into their homes, and provided for them. Likewise, let’s make it a point to show our hospitality towards our fellow brethren, especially during this festive season as we remember and celebrate Christ’s birth!
For a start, let’s warmly greet and welcome one another into the house of God when we meet one another this Sabbath!
Monday: Hebrews 13:2
Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.
Tuesday: 2 Corinthians 9:7
Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
Wednesday: 2 Corinthians 9:8
And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
Thursday: Philippians 4:19
And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.
Friday: Romans 12:13
Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
Saturday: 1 Peter 4:9-10
Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.
Sunday: Hebrews 13:16
And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.
All scriptures are quoted from the New International Version (NIV).
By Katherine Han