After dropping Arnold off at home from another pancake dinner at our house, I mused aloud to my son, “I wonder why Arnold never says thank you.” I thought it would be an opportunity to teach my son about manners. Upon hearing my question, he replied, “Mom, we don’t have Arnold over so he’ll thank us. We have him over so he’ll enjoy himself.” I was the one who was on the receiving end of this valuable lesson.
Jesus’ life and ministry show overflowing welcome for all kinds of people. Here are some underpinnings of authentic hospitality.
- Offer a place of safety and belonging. Walls will break down.
- Do not expect gratitude or anything else. This opens space for community to happen.
- No matter how simple or complicated, authentic hospitality is extravagant in its warmth.
- Hospitality is always a bit of a risk.
This message was adapted from “God’s Own Hospitality” by Karen Melang that appeared in the July/August 1999 issue of Lutheran Woman Today (now Gather) magazine.