|1 Peter 4:9|
Open your homes to each other without complaining.
Then Jesus said to his host, "When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous."
Father in Heaven-
Thank you for giving me the miracle of a Christian home. This home is not mine. It belongs to You. Often the details of entertaining consume me. I want to impress people with my meticulous well kept place, my clever decorating, and my gourmet cooking. I am so busy with the preparations that I forget WHO I am serving.
Empower me to put people before things. Instead of putting away the dirt, I will put away my pride and allow others to see my humanness. Shape my home into a place free of false pretensions where people can relax and be themselves.
Open my heart to a needy family in my community. I will obediently open my home as a place of rest and healing for them. It is my desire to use the gifts You've lavished on me to glorify You. I am Your humble servant, please show me how to practice biblical hospitality for Jesus' name sake. Amen.
The root word of hospitality is "hospital." Hospitals are places to rest and heal. Our homes should be places where people can come to rest and heal. Do you receive exquisite meals at a hospital? Are hospitals fussily decorated? Do hospitals only serve friends and family?
Think of your home as a hospital. Consider inviting to your home: the elderly neighbor who is always alone, the neighbor who's recovering from surgery, the family that just received devastating news, the neighbor that's unemployed, or someone new to your community.
What's keeping you from demonstrating biblical hospitality? Resolve to set aside your agenda to be more hospitable this year.
Just this week a friend who has a daughter with Downs Syndrome called me. They were locked out of their house on a frigid winter evening. Off the cuff, I invited them to come to my home, and to stay for dinner. They were incredibly grateful for a warm place to wait, a warm chicken dinner, and warm conversation. It didn't matter that my sink was full of dirty dishes, the floors needed vacuumed, and dried up poinsettia leaves had fallen all over the dinner table. All that mattered was their safety and our sweet time of fellowship. When we die people won't remember how clean our homes were. They will remember the warm welcome we gave them even when it was inconvenient.