Our Hospitality Director, Barbara Emery, shares her thoughts with us today.
I Peter 4:9-10 “Use hospitality one to another without grudging. As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.”
Scripture teaches us that “whenever you fed, clothed, visited, welcomed others and comforted the sick, no matter how unimportant it seemed, you did it for me.” Matt. 25:34-40. Christ equated hospitable treatment of others with treatment of Himself.
My family often invited people from church to our home either for Sunday dinner or after evening services for fellowship. While too young to attend these evening gatherings, the laughter, warmth and love I felt left me with wonderful memories. Looking back I realize these events were a major sacrifice for my parents. We were very poor and my only sister was severely mentally and physically ill.
So, while I learned to love Biblical Hospitality at my parent’s knee, it was when I read the book “How to Win Friends and Influence People” that I began to realize there are very practical principals to Biblical Hospitality. As a preteen I began to realize God’s idea of hospitality=love in action. Must I feel hospitable? But…How? Who? When? Where? Is it a gift? Is it a command? Or is it an opportunity?
The Greek word for hospitality means “love to strangers”. Are you aware that the word “hospitality” is located between Hospice, and Hospital in the dictionary? Hospice offers a caring environment by supplying physical and emotional needs while the hospital provided medical and or surgical care. To be hospitable is to give a generous and/or cordial welcome to all, especially the needy. It is said the church is often a spiritual hospital. Certainly these words from the Bible tell us how hospitality is critical for us to practice.
Love is an action verb!