Showing Hospitality

Published May 22, 2017 by

We will see in Hebrews 13:2 the command to show hospitality. Now, often hospitality has nuances of domestication—“We’ve got to get out the good dishes. We’ve got to clean the house from top to bottom. Quick, let’s hide all our laundry in the closet. We’ve got to make preparations for a night of quiet and polite conversation, while entertaining our guests.”

I don’t believe that this is what is at the heart of hospitality for the Christian. As Hebrews 13:1 says, the goal is love. The word for hospitality in Hebrews is philoxenia, which comes from two words: 1) philos—meaning love and 2) xenos—meaning stranger. The call for the church is to show love for strangers with the intent not to show them how polished we are, but to show them love—indeed to show them the love of Christ.

I know its risky. It was risky for the New Testament church as well. But there is something profoundly great about the testimony of having people in your home that you aren’t used to having. In that risk, it shows that you’re hope is not in your security, your comfort, or your time. It shows that your hope is in Christ alone, ready to give reasons over the table “for the hope that is in you (1 Peter 3:15).”

So I’m encouraging you to invite people into your home this week with this aim—to love them and share with them your hope.

By way of practicality, here are some general questions that you may use over the dinner table to help guide your discussions. I would highly encourage, that if you ask these questions, you be willing to answer them as well.

1) What’s your favorite thing to do in your downtime?

2) What are your major goals in the next 5 years?

3) What does a fulfilled life look like to you?

4) What are you most afraid of losing?

5) What has been your experience with Christianity?

6) Who do you think Jesus is?

7) What do you think of the Bible?

8) What do you believe about God?

I know when reading these questions, you may feel uncertain about how people may react. Let me just put your mind at ease a little bit. In my experience people are eager to answer these things and moreover, eager to show you who they are. Just be ready to listen—to listen well, and to offer hope when the Spirit says to.

“So we can confidently say, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?’” (Hebrews 13:6 & Psalm 118:6)

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