August 02, 2018

Called to Hospitality

Romans 12:9-21

Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice ­hospitality.

—  Romans 12:13

If showing hospitality meant we always had to throw ele­gant parties and impress our guests, most of us would not bother with it.

The Bible’s instruction to “practice hospitality” is much simpler. Though it includes some planning and calls for showing people a warm welcome, hospitality is more about cultivating relationships and sharing the love that God has shown us.

Paul, who wrote to the Romans, considered hospitality an everyday practice and described it as vital to spiritual growth. More than throwing grand parties and putting on a performance, hospitality is about inviting people into our lives and sharing from what we have—both as giver and recipient.

One day, my wife found that she needed one more egg for a recipe she was making. Catching the eye of a new neighbor, she asked if she could borrow an egg. Out of her need for something so minor, a new relationship formed. Being dependent on another allowed her to receive not just the egg for her recipe but also a new friendship.

To be a neighbor is to be both neighborly and open to neighborliness. Love looks out for others and recognizes the ­effect our actions will have on others when we make decisions. It calls us to attend not just to blessing others but to being blessed by them as well.

God, you have been generous to us. Teach us to share generously with the people around us, and to bless them by accepting their generosity as well. For Jesus’ sake, Amen.

About the author — Lloyd Wicker

Lloyd Wicker has been a pastor for more than eighteen years and has served churches in Illinois, Washington, and California. He currently serves as a chaplain with the United States Navy in Sicily. Lloyd and his wife, Heidi, have three children.

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