Saturday, December 13, 2008

The gifts God has given us: Hospitality

I went to our WM Christmas party last night. My single friend who was the hostess told me last week she wanted to be Mrs. Claus. I laughed it off at the time, but after being in her home last night, I believe her! It was so beautifully decorated for Christmas. There was a fire in the fireplace and a tree in each room. Beautiful nativity scenes, candles and other Christmas decor warmed the home. Our host was gracious, and I felt welcomed and valued as a guest. Hospitality at its warmest was evident in her home and manner. I came home last night wishing I had planned more holiday gatherings in my own home during this season.

I have a sister that gets paid to decorate other peoples homes, but I somehow missed the gene for interior design that God was supposed to give me. I was not raised in a home that served formal meals so I never learned how to 'entertain' in a way that would impress my guests. Shall I keep giving you a list of all of my excuses?

In spite of all of my excuses and my genuine feelings of inadequecy, God has been teaching me to be hospitable. In our society, we take the gift of hospitality to mean the ability to impress. This is so limiting because it is putting a list of ifs in front of having people in our home. If my home was big enough, if I had the time to clean it, if I had time to make a fancy dinner. None of these things has anything to do with hospitality. Hospitality is defined as kindness in welcoming guests and strangers. This I CAN do.

In order to practice hospitality, I have to let go of my own need to be seen as perfect. I must surrender my expectations on myself and see it as unimportant. A big part of this is seeing that other person and getting to know them or just blessing them as our main goal.

Romans 12:13 NIV
Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

1 Peter 4:9 NIV
Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.

Philippians 2:4 KJV
Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I agree with you that true hospitality has a distorted view in Today's society.
As I was reading your post. I was thinking the worlds view of hospitality is ME centered. How my home looks, how fancy my dinner can be, Will they be impressed by Me!
But biblical hospitality is about a ministry to whoever you are receiving into your home. How can you be blessing in their lives.

Great Post Robin! What a reminder at the holidays.
This you can do and YOU DO IT!