April 25, 2013

Offer Hospitality

1 Peter 4:7-9

Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.

—  1 Peter 4:9

Our family loves biking across Iowa in the summer. We’ve been on many organized rides, but the people of Iowa offer some of the best hospitality. Farmers greet us from their driveways and chat about the day’s adventures. The towns make it a festival with food, games, and music. When 10,000 riders roll into a town of 3,000 people, it can’t be business as usual, and rather than treating us like an interruption, their warmth comes through!

Still, not everyone is happy to have so many cyclists disrupt their town. One day we came across a church that had a sign that said, “Let the little children come”—and directly underneath it was another sign saying “Keep off our property.” Our kids joked about the discrepancy and took photos of the signs. It was disappointing that a church sent an unwelcoming message. How ironic that a church was the least welcoming place in the community.

Hospitality is about making someone feel welcome. It means making it easy for someone to spend time with you without feeling as if they are intruding. It means a warm welcome and a comfortable setting in your presence. It means knowing that our homes, churches, and time are gifts to be shared. They don’t have to be perfect or beautiful, but just open. We can share these blessings so that people know we care!

Lord, teach us how to practice hospitality. Connect us with people who need to experience your love through us. In Jesus' name, Amen.

About the author — Steven and Deb Koster

Steven and Deb Koster have a passion for marriages, families, and spiritual growth in the home. Both are ordained ministers in the Christian Reformed Church in North America. Steven formerly served as editor of Today and director of ReFrame's English-language outreach. Deb leads Family Fire, ReFrame’s family ministry at FamilyFire.com and on Facebook. The Kosters have three children.

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