This past spring I was impressed with a fellow pastor who asked me for a ride after a meeting. I had to take him to the home of one of his church members so he could retrieve his car. Apparently, the church member needed a car for work and the pastor loaned him his own car – for a few months.
I was impressed with the sense of giving and the willingness to sacrifice in a concrete way for someone in need. The pastor inconvenienced himself for an extended period so someone else could have things a bit easier.
Like the “Love Chapter” most people are familiar with from 1 Corinthians, Paul talks about how to express love in his letter to the church in Rome. He speaks of love being sincere (verse 9) and how we should be devoted to devoted to one another (verse 10). What other attributes of love should we show?
At first glance this verse may seem to hold two instructions. We should share with those in need AND we should be hospitable. But in fact I believe these are two facets of the same idea.
If we will truly love another person we will be willing to share what we have with those who have not. This is one way to live out what it means to be a Christian. We supply what the other person lacks.
We should also practice hospitality. We should be welcoming to the stranger, kind and friendly to the visitor, encouraging to those new in the faith. Not only is hospitality a way to live out the love of God, it is part of sharing with those in need.
If we encounter someone new to our church or new to belief in Jesus, then we must share with them. Part of that sharing is hospitality. They need to find comfort and acceptance. We are able to provide that.
The practice of hospitality is a sharing of what we have, who we are, and what we know with those who do not have that familiarity and comfort in worship. Hospitality, welcoming the stranger, is an expression of love that fills a need in the other person.
DAILY CHALLENGE: How can you share of yourself in hospitality?