Hospitality is more than being warm and friendly to others as you choose. It is a transforming way of life that opens the heart of the disciple to not only see Christ in the other but propels her to make room, make ready, and be available for those in need.
Hospitality is an age-old relationship-builder. A large part of making ready is discerning how hospitality is best offered. Hospitality is not synonymous with charity, with “helping the less fortunate.” Compassion and empathy are important, but they are draining and can only sustain hospitality for a short time. Hospitality is a mutual exchange and the work of the Holy Spirit. We must be ready to receive the gifts our guest has to offer as well.
This message is excerpted from “Hospitality: More than Warm and Friendly,” by Valora K. Starr, a 2009 Women of the ELCA resource. Today we commemorate Timothy, Titus and Silas, missionaries.
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