What does Christian Hospitality mean to you? Let us know in the comments! Here's Jude, Licensed Lay Minister at St George & St Paul, Tiverton on what hospitality mean to Jesus.
Have you ever had that moment where you read something and the hairs on your neck stand up on end? When some sentence or words really open up your heart to a deepened way of being or thinking?
A couple of weeks ago I was asked to look again at Celtic Spirituality, just as we went for a week's relaxing holiday. There was time to sit outside in some sunshine in a garden with the all important coffee, to enjoy the sight of 20-30 birds on a bird table next door just newly filled with seeds. They knew exactly when it would be filled and where, time to stock up on energy for the day in peace and safety.
Meanwhile I revisited the morning prayer in Celtic Daily Prayer Book 2, and its meditations for the day. September was on hospitality, something close to my heart, especially after a total stranger at a New Wine Conference one year, came up to me and told me it would be important in my Christian life! So instantly I felt alert to see what was coming.
How often do we think of hospitality in the safe and cosy sense, relegated to a calculation of space, food or resources of one sort or another. Where we invite those who are close to us or have similar interests to us? I realised that I have been there in that situation so many times and still am sometimes.
Jesus practised hospitality of another sort, one that starts with the heart, where he makes himself vulnerable, where he challenges the norms of the society of the day. It isn't cosy but risky and 'world rattling.' He touched base with the unlovely and hungry in more ways than one, he risked his reputation and his life.
Christian hospitality is perhaps an adventure where we are led somewhere we never thought to go, where sometimes we fail and have to pick ourselves up to try again. Where perhaps we feel we are asked to make room for one person at a time and then our heart stretches to help another. We open ourselves to new worlds, to new experiences.
It might be strange or even frightening but we trust because by offering them space, they can experience change. A change perhaps they never dreamed of, to find freedom, a new way of life, a new growth and confidence in who they are.
Do you recognise this?
Lord, You ask me, "Will you love this one for me?" I answer, "Yes, Lord, this one I will love for You."
God is most definitely at work, wanting us to join Him!
Hoping you have a wonderful week!
(Licensed Lay Minister)
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