It can be easy to hope that our hospitality is rewarded. When we welcome visitors at church, we hope they will come back. When we respond to a friend in need, we hope they will also someday be there for us.
These kinds of expectations, though, are not what Jesus had in mind when he commanded us to love our neighbors. Just as grace is freely given to us, we are called to give grace to others—regardless of how they respond.
We learn from the stories of Mary and Martha, Ruth and Naomi, and the woman who washes Jesus’ feet that biblical hospitality is all-inclusive. It makes equal space at the table for all ages, all genders, all backgrounds—and it does so expecting nothing in return.
True hospitality is not about us; it’s about our neighbor, it’s about the other. It’s about giving of ourselves and trusting God to handle the results.
This message is an excerpt of a Women of the ELCA blog by Sarah Carson. Today is the tenth Sunday after Pentecost. We remember Mary, Martha, and Lazarus of Bethany; and Olaf, King of Norway, martyr, who died in 1030.
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