Father, today by your grace, we will be hosting a simple lunch for new friends of the church. I pray that you will teach us – all of us – that hospitality is a means toward an end. The end being a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ. I pray that you will help us to take our eyes off ourselves and our little circle of friends and to start to engage others in our church so that we can seek Jesus together as one family and to grow together.
I recall the apostolic word from Paul that having
Gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them:
if prophecy, in proportion to our faith;
if service, in our serving;
the one who teaches, in his teaching;
the one who exhorts, in his exhortation;
the one who contributes, in generosity;
the one who leads, with zeal;
the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.
Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.
Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.
Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
Contribute to the needs of the saints
and seek to show hospitality.
The real idea behind the word “hospitable” (philoxenia in Greek, is made up of, “philos” [brotherly love] and “xenos” [stranger]) is to be friendly or helpful to those who are strangers to you and to those who are in need. This word depicts that moment when you go outside your normal circle of friends and relationships to do something extra special for someone whom you do not know.
Pastor Robert Chew