Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Hospitality 2

Christian hospitality is not the same is, "having people over." It might include that, but the Christian concept is bigger.

"Having people over," falls under the domain of entertainment. When we entertain we bring people into our home, usually with it looking nicer than it does on a normal days and we put it on ourselves to make sure the persons we are entertaining have a positive experience. There is nothing wrong with entertaining. It can certainly be a subset of hospitality. My wife and I like to entertain often.

Hospitality is much larger than that. It is opening my life to another -- not just my home to another. It is about seeing everyone who is in my life -- everyone from lifelong friends to the man at the convenience store counter -- as someone God has brought into my life and relate to them with an attitude of welcome. For the convenience store clerk it might mean just stopping for a few seconds to acknowledge that the person behind the counter is a human being and asking her how her day is going.

In these posts I want to move in the direction of a broad conception of hospitality. I want to suggest that any act of welcoming someone into my life -- for one minute or one decade -- can be an act of hospitality.

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