A mother invited some people to dinner. At the table, she turned to her six-year-old daughter and said, "Would you like to say the blessing?" "I wouldn’t know what to say," the girl replied. "Just say what you hear Mommy say," the mother answered. The little girl bowed her head and with sincerity in her voice said, "Lord, why on earth did I invite all these people to dinner?"
This past Sunday I preached a sermon titled Hospitality.
The Jesus way of of Hospitality is when you value being present,
more than you value being perfect. (Read the story of Mary and Martha in the book of Luke, chapter 10, starting if verse 38)
In the early church people had to meet in each others houses out of necessity. They felt safer in homes and their trust for one another was essential for the times and challenges they were facing. The home is known as the first place. Where you work is the second place.
When Starbucks was just starting out, their idea was to become peoples third place. A meeting place where people felt comfortable. And it worked. When I ask someone if they want to meet to talk, Starbucks is a natural go to for us. But you can only get so deep and be so trusting in a public space. I think that one of the reasons the early church thrived was that they met in living rooms. Just look at the name - "Living Room."
Another meeting place that is popular today is online. Facebook, texting, emails, etc. Now I think all of these things are great tools and use them all. But my hope for all of us is that we spend more time talking to people by looking into their eyes, instead of just looking into a screen and communicating through our computers and smart phones.
Always be eager to practice hospitality. Romans 12:13
People should feel better about themselves, after they leave your living room. Ask them the right questions about their life - and then listen. Show them you care by really listening to them. Everyone wants to be heard and to be loved.
Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all! Romans 12:16
This Thanksgiving and beyond I hope you practice a life style of hospitality. You will find that it's easier than you thought and rewarding beyond your dreams. Happy Thanksgiving Everyone. Love, Pastor Max