Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Abundant life through hospitality

We've had a few busy weeks. W's teaching full time in his last classroom semester at NU. We travel and preach on weekends, which we love.

But one of our most important commitments is this: we want to practice hospitality until we leave in June. We want to finish this season without regrets so we don't have to say, "Oh, I wish we'd had you over," or "We never did find time together."

Thus, twice a week, I set the table, W's sweeps the white floor, and we open the door to friends, old and new. My mother, from whom I learned to keep an open home, taught that there's a flow to having guests in. When you do it often, the rhythm of preparing food and clearing the space comes naturally. (Conversely, when you take a long break, it's harder to have people over.)

Here's what hospitality is teaching us:

  1. Everyone invests their life in things that matter to them. People matter to us, so we need to invest in our relationships.
  2. Every investment costs something. For us, the time, energy and food are overwhelmingly worth the memories!
  3. You receive more than you give. Conversation and prayers around the table refresh us beyond expectation.
  4. Hospitality is God's gift. How grateful we become when God's people share how good He is to each of us!
When's the last time you had people over? 

Are you missing the blessings of hospitality? You'll need these basics:

  • Think. Why are you meeting? Jesus showed up at weddings and parties and people loved having him there! Pray over the gathering before and after. And watch God show up with loving presence and fun. 
  • People. Who would you like to know better? or who needs to hang out with you? Start small if that feels easier.
  • Space. Whether it's an extra chair or a monstrous sofa, sit down for a while - or host a standup get-together. OR find a favorite coffee shop with comfy seating.
  • Time. Schedule a meeting time and confirm who's coming. 
  • Food and drink. Community is nourished around food. Purchased cookies or glorious home-baked torte. Crackers and cheese or a sit-down meal? Choose your own style.
January is cleaning month, we traditionally try to reduce clutter in life and spaces. "Company" may be the best reason to open up heart and home in this New Year.

Read more:
*It has pleased the Lord to make you a people for himself. 1 Samuel12:22

*Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord himself, is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation." With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. 

In that day you will say: "Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done, and proclaim that his name is exalted. Sing to the Lord, for he has done glorious things; let this be known to all the world. Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion, for great is the Holy One of Israel among you." Isaiah 12:2-6 NIV

*Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Matthew 7:7-8 ESV

*Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Luke 12:32

Moravian Prayer: Heavenly Sustainer, we give thanks for our families and friends, our church and our jobs, our trials and adversities, and our triumphs and accomplishments. You supply all our needs even before we may ask in prayer. Thank you, Lord, for your kind and generous spirit. Amen.


  1. Blessings on your 2014... love the hospitality commitment. So true... when you open your heart, your house and your energy for guests... suddenly it brings out the best of you! And you're the one being blessed. Love the Moravian prayers... so insightful, simple and profound at the same time. Thanks for taking the time to share. Don't have any clue how you do this on a daily basis... do you sleep at all??? LOL

  2. Yes, Adeline, it sure CAN be a lot of work. But oh the rewards :-) Grateful for friends who like coming over, too.