Perhaps, the greatest key to fulfilling Christ's command to go and make disciples is practicing hospitality. It is an act of mission, not as a means to an end but as a characteristic of the Christ transformed life.
- Hospitality is a missional practice.
- It is required of bishops.
- It is a charge for the church.
- It is a godly practice.
- It is an act of worship.
- It is a blessing for the giver and receiver.
- It is an act of grace.
- It is needed for the spreading of the message of Jesus.
- It is a sign of wisdom and maturity.
- It should especially be shown to refugees in a strange land.
- Hospitality should be shown to friends and strangers alike.
- It should be practiced cheerfully and without grumbling.
In the Garden, we see God walking and sharing with Adam. In speaking to the church at Rome, Paul encourages the church to hospitable to strangers (more specifically meaning to have "a love of strangers") going as far as lodging them in our homes.
At Out of the Cocoon, Paul Walker quotes from "The Shaping of Things to Come" how hospitality awakens spiritual hunger. In the book, Michael Frost and Alan Hirsch call us to "Be extraordinarily loving : unrelenting kindness and radical hospitality speaks louder than words. By this we are not thinking of a pious, holier-than-thou attitude, but a much deeper and more profound love that connects with an alternative and counter-cultural reality.
Andrew Hamilton at Backyard Missionary had a series of posts on ministry in suburbia. They focused heavily on hospitality. Andrew takes a look at our proximity, regularity, depth, conflict, the message, and the supernatural (see post 1, 2, 3, and 4). His words are worth considering as we show hospitality to our neighbors.
It seems that our interaction with Christ, having been received by Him should naturally produce a hospitable heart in us. But, it doesn't. Living a hospitable life is a challenge to begin. Hospitality can be challenge. It takes us out of our comfort zones. But, it is good and right and beautiful.
Other blogs engaging in discussions on hospitality:
PGF Outbox: Markus Watson on Hospitality - Al Hsu: Hospitality in Suburbia - Greetings from the Experiment House: Eating Together -