What do you think of when you hear the word hospitality? What are the first images that pop in your head? I hope to dispell some of the false notions of hospitality; as well as, redefine and encourage those of you who think you either have the "gift" of hospitality or don't.
I think it's important to note that hospitality is not Martha Stewart. Someone might think they need to know all there is to know about baking, cooking, or entertaining, but true hospitality is so much more than that. As R. Paul Stevens writes,
"Hospitality is often confused with entertaining. Entertainment could represent a superficial hospitality, but it is possible to entertain without being hospitable. Whole families, whether single parent or extended, can engage in the mission of God by giving hospitality to the stranger, the outsider, the marginalized and the needy. It is a way of loving our neighbor as ourselves."
So as Stevens puts it, it is far reaching and beyond the concept of entertaining, or setting your table with fine china. It's more about stretching our resources and stepping outside of our comfort zones to show how Jesus did the same for all of humanity when he came to Earth. Boil it down a step further, it means caring for someone in such a way that leaves them thinking, "I was cherished, treasured, and loved by that person. I was left with my dignity intact. My basic needs were met."
Can you recall those moments of hospitality versus entertaining? What inhibits you from feeling be able to extend hospitality?
Here are some other posts on hospitality:
- Know Who You Are
- Giving Recognition
- Redemptive Love
- Receiving the gifter
- Hosts as Guests
- Hospitality & Food: Why I cook
- Rugged Hospitality