I had a cup of coffee yesterday with a friend. We meet regularly to compare notes about our lives. We learn from each other and encourage and egg each other on. I value our friendship!
His blog sparked an inner reflection on “hospitality”. He references James 2: 1-7. Last week another friend challenged me to look at Jesus’ teachings and decide what it meant for me to show my love for God through “humility”. Two different words (humility/hospitality) – or are they? Can you show hospitality without showing humility?
Mother Teresa in her book A Simple Faith reminds us that the “Christian way has always been to love God and one’s neighbor as oneself”. She believed that at some point (either as the recipient or the giver of love) you experience any or all of 5 sufferings: physical, mental, emotional, financial, spiritual. While we segregate God does not. We are to love our neighbor (rich/poor) equally with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. The actions that we take in demonstrating that love reveals our measure of equality.
While researching these words via the internet I stumbled on a church website in the UK that reflects on both humility and hospitality. Great story telling!
Peter Block in his book Community: The Structure of Belonging acknowledges the importance of hospitality: “welcome people personally at the door; restate why you are there; create connection between attendees through initial questions, welcome late arrivals, acknowledge early departures, break bread together.”
Luke 9 advices us: “You become great by accepting not asserting”. Show hospitality through humility – accepting not asserting. Accepting others regardless of status; simply love them.
“May we learn true humility and practise true hospitality by God’s grace!”