I finally finished the book last week and wanted to share just a few more portions of this little gem by Alexander Strauch. It was a great book and it inspired me to be more consistent about opening our home. I have probably had weekend supper company at least once or twice a month for a very long time-- but upon completing this book, I felt an unction to step it up.
This past Sunday, we had a couple over who have been members of our church for about a year and a half. (The menu was tuna fish, chips, guacamole and a brownie cake that my 15 year old made from a mix-- just to let you know that I'm keeping it simple!!!) We shared a very nice time of fellowship and spiritual conversation and the whole time we were eating, I kept wishing I had had them over sooner! As they were leaving, they thanked us and told us that we were the only people from our church who had invited them over for a meal.
Alright-- enough from me. Here's what Strauch has to say:
If we love our Christian brothers and sisters, we will want to invite them into our homes. We will want them to fill our homes. The presence of Christian brothers and sisters in our homes is a foretaste of our glorious, heavenly dwelling place that will be filled with people, angels, and the perfect host-- our Lord Jesus Christ.
Despite the joy of Christian hospitality, it is easy to neglect hospitality during times of spiritual stress and apathy. Neglect, however, is a sure sign of slacking love. Hospitality may be costly and intrusive, but that is what Christian brotherly and sisterly love demands. Thus the Spirit of God warns us not to neglect the practice of hospitality.
When most Christians hear about their responsibility to practice hospitality, they can think up an amazing number of creative excuses to explain why they can't be hospitable. Yes Christians are commanded to practice hospitality.
Alright--so to whom should we extend hospitality? Here's a list I came up with:
1-- New church members
2-- Long time church members
3-- Hurting church members
4-- Widows (This would especially fall under a deacon's ministry responsibility-- although we should all take care of our widows!)
6-- Lost people whom we are trying to evangelize
Here's to opening our homes. As we continue on this journey of hospitality, I'll let you know how it goes!