Sunday, January 13, 2008

Fun with Friends and Hospitality

One of the many reasons we got the house we have is to have people over. As a Pastor's wife and as a Christian I want to become better in the ministry of hospitality. Hospitality is mentioned in the Bible. We are supposed to be hospitable to our fellow Christians.

In Romans, Paul writes to the church in Rome and gives them some things they need to be doing in chapter 12 and in there is hospitality:

Romans 12:13 Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.

In 1 Timothy and in Titus, Paul writes to these 2 Pastors and gives them a list of requirements for a pastor and what do we find but hospitality:

I Timothy 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
Titus 1:8 But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate;

Peter wrote to Christians that they needed to be hospitable without grudging:

1 Peter 4:9 Use hospitality one to another without grudging.

Personally, I like having people over. I grew up with it. My mom loved to have a lot of people over. Thanksgivings our house was overflowing with friends and family. Every birthday party we had many people were invited as well as our friends. I believe people feel special when you ask them to come into your home and share a meal with you. It doesn't even have to be a meal, it could be as one teacher taught me, popcorn and pepsi. People just want to feel loved and cared for and one way we can show them Christ's love through us is to be hospitable.

Jesus is a great example of being hospitable. Remember the feeding of the 5,000? He used what little He had to give to others.

Matthew 14:15-21 And when it was evening, his disciples came to him, saying, This is a desert place, and the time is now past; send the multitude away, that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves victuals. But Jesus said unto them, They need not depart; give ye them to eat. And they say unto him, We have here but five loaves, and two fishes. He said, Bring them hither to me. And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude. And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full. And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children.

I can just hear the disciples, "It's late, we're tired, there's nothing around here, send these people home." Can you hear yourself using some of those excuses? But Jesus took the opportunity to minister to these people a little more and He went the extra mile.

If you would like to start getting more involved in the ministry of hospitality talk to your Pastor. Ask him if there is anyone he would like for you to minister to. And remember it doesn't have to be a big elaborate meal. Sandwiches and chips are wonderful. The people don't care what they're eating, they care that they are being loved.

What started this whole post was that last night we had the deacons of our church over and their wives for dinner. We had a great time. And today I invited over two more couples for this coming Thursday. By the end of this year I would like to have every one of our members over to our house at some time.


Julie Fink said...

Thanks for sharing this. I need to be reminded of this regularly. I really do enjoy having people over from the church, it's just I sometimes allow myself to get to busy to plan for them to come :)

Maryann said...

Hi Jennifer,
I'm also a Christian and really love the ministry of hospitality. God created us and certainly put that passion in the hearts of many women.
I have to admit that this was a spiritual practice, which was a bit tough for a few years.
I realized that my gift for hospitality had to do with being spontaneous and showering the people in our house with love. I was the one, who accepted the limiting thought about clean house and a "Southern Living Type Meal".
God has taught me that no one really cared what we served. Hospitality is about extending fellowship.
We've had 50 people over for Sunday dinner after church. When I let go of this picture of myself, as the perfect hostess, I truly saw that Jesus served the loaves and fishes with the same spirit of spontaneous love. We serve Christ by letting others know they are loved by opening the doors to our homes. Nice post.
Mary Ann