Over the years I have surrounded myself with people who are masters at hospitality. I have learned so much from them. They have refreshed my family and me. They have gone out of their way to make a family with four little ones feel comfortable and satisfied. It is hard to express the level of gratitude I have for the hundreds of meals prepared out of love and devotion. But I am grieved by how the apostles’ imperatives (Heb. 13:2; I Pet. 4:9) are so often overlooked in the evangelical community. We miss a genuine opportunity to serve one another, to hear each others’ stories, and give out of the abundance given to us in Christ Jesus. I love the way Lauren Winner describes this in her book Mudhouse Sabbath: “We are not meant simply to invite people into our homes, but also to invite them into our lives. Having guests and visitors, if we do it right, is not an imposition, because we are not meant to rearrange our lives for our guests – we are meant to invite our guests to enter into our lives as they are.”
For many of you who have never practiced this Christian gift, you can begin small. Begin by inviting a couple over for coffee and dessert or something similar. Be intentional about scheduling such things. Don’t leave it up for the right opportunity. The right opportunity comes when you make it. Begin small and you will see the joy and celebration that overtakes a house that is known for her hospitality.