The Harvest Of Hospitality
Romans 12:9-13 says
“Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.”
Hospitality involves setting a table that makes everyone feel comfortable. It chooses a menu that allows face time with guests instead of being chained to the stove-top. It picks up the house to make things pleasant, but doesn’t feel the need to conceal evidences of everyday life. It sometimes sits down to dinner with flour in its hair. It allows the gathering to be shaped by the quality of the conversation rather than the cuisine. Hospitality shows interest in the thoughts, feelings, pursuits, and preferences of its guests. It is good at asking questions and listening intently to answers. Hospitality focuses attention on others. – Jenn Wilkin
Hospitality can be…
Hospitality in the ancient world focused on the alien or stranger in need. The plight of aliens was desperate. They lacked membership in the community, be it tribe, city-state, or nation. As an alienated person, the traveler often needed immediate food and lodging. Widows, orphans, the poor, or sojourners from other lands lacked the familial or community status that provided a landed inheritance, the means of making a living, and protection. In the ancient world the practice of hospitality meant graciously receiving an alienated person into one’s land, home, or community and providing directly for that person’s needs. (www.biblestudytools.com)
- food, lodging, and protection – Gen 18:2-8 ; 19:1-8 ; Job 31:16-23 Job 31:31-32
- permitting the alienated person to harvest the corners of one’s fields – Lev 19:9-10 ; Deut 24:19-22 ; Ruth 2:2-17
- clothing the naked – Isa 58:7 ; Ezekiel 18:7 Ezekiel 18:16
- tithing food for the needy – Deut 14:28-29 ; 26:1-11
- and including the alien in religious celebrations – Exod 12:48-49 ; Deut 16:10-14
Check out more at www.biblestudytools.com
“Biblical hospitality isn’t about details but about the gospel. It isn’t just for those who can bake, but for all of us. It’s not about receiving compliments but about giving to others. It’s about much more than a meal or a comfortable place to lay one’s head. The heart of hospitality is about sharing the greatest treasure we have, Jesus Christ.” “…Hospitality isn’t about breaking bread, but about the Bread of Life”. – Christina Fox (The Heart of Hospitality)
Daily ordinary hospitality, practiced for Christ’s glory, sanctifies your boundaries and fortifies your faith. It also exposes the idolatry in our hearts that falsely declare our homes our castles and our time our own. Hospitality combats the crushing loneliness that too many brothers and sisters in Christ bear by offering basic care: a meal, a hug, a prayer. When we share a rhythm of life, we know before anyone asks how we can help and what others need. -Rosaria Butterfield
Fellowship, Food, and Fun
Invite someone to speak about the Heart and Hospitality.
We often only think of hospitality as inviting someone to our home, but Romans 12 paints the picture of a a constant attitude and practice. Paul begins the emphasis on serving others by saying, “Let love be genuine”. It is an outpouring of our hearts. You might ask these questions….
- How is biblical hospitality described in the Bible?
- What is overflowing out of your heart?
- How do we cultivate a hospitable heart?
- Should hospitality be used as a vehicle for evangelism?
- What happens when the joy of hospitality has been cultivated in the believer’s life?
- How do we ensure our hospitality explicitly reflects the gospel?
- Before you came to faith, did you ever try to escape your friend’s hospitality?
Supporting scriptures (not an exhaustive list)
- 1 Peter 4:9-11
- Colossians 3:23-24
- Luke 6:37-38
- I Timothy 3:2
- Proverbs 31:20
- Luke 10:25-37 – The good Samaritan
Family style meal to help ladies understand serving each other
- Assign different groups of people(Bible studies, 5 or 6 people in a group, committees, etc.) certain food items to bring that can be served family style at each table.
- Have each group set and serve another group’s table.
- Make pizzas together.
Game & Craft Stations / Talk time – to help ladies have conversation more easily
- Have each lady bring their favorite tea or coffee cup. When they are in small group, or even at the meal time, have them explain to their group why that’s their favorite cup. There is insight to the person siting with you when they talk about their “treasures”. As we get to know others more, we may open up more.
- Rotate ladies around simple games and activities designed to get them talking to each other. Some games could be progressive from one table to the next asking different questions at each station.
- Play “Speed Friending”. Set chairs across from each other in rows. Have a set amount of questions rotating to one side after each question so their are different “partners” for different questions.
- Make cards with scriptures to give to the ladies as they leave to encourage them in their journey.
- Have each class donate a themed hospitality basket so that ladies could have folks over for dinner with the basket ingredients.
How To Practice Biblical Hospitality – The Gospel Coalition
Strategic Hospitality – Desiring God
How To Change The World With Christian Hospitality – Lifeway
The Spiritual Warfare of Potato-Peeling – Rosaria Butterfield
A Scriptural look at Hospitality and How To Practice It – Woman of Noble Character
How To Embrace Authenticity in Your Friendships – Alison Tiemeyer
Christian Hospitality Is Radically Different from ‘Southern Hospitality’ – Rosaria Butterfield ***EXCELLENT article