“Practice hospitality” Romans 12:13 NIV
“Come to my house!”
When I invite you to my home, I am inviting you to see a part of me. The house decor is my decor and each piece has a story. For me, most of the pictures on the walls and the curios on the bookshelf come from a variety of countries because travel and other cultures are important to me. From where I sit at the dining room table, I see pieces from: Lombok, Switzerland, Java, Jordan, Bali, Penang, Egypt, Sudan, Thailand, USA, Kenya, and Cambodia.
I have chosen furniture that fits my taste and inviting you to sit in it and eat on it is inviting you to enjoy a bit of my personality for a few hours.
When I cook, though, I try to think of you. I am not a fantastic cook—most of my meals are pretty simple and sometimes I forget that placing a jar on the table is not as pretty as emptying its contents into a fancy bowl. My napkins are paper ones from the store. I am the queen of one dish meals so that I don’t have so many pots and platters to wash. But I try to find out what you might like and make something accordingly.
I want to bless you, but I also want to share a bit of me. I’d love to do the same at your house. This is one way we get to know each other—inviting each other into our worlds, even if just for the evening. Then, in the future, when we see each other at the kids’ school or at church, we know a little bit more about each other—things that can’t be expressed with mere words over mugs of hot drinks at a local coffee chain.
Topics pop up that may never emerge otherwise. Do you like spicy food? Do you cook with a recipe? Do you serve your guests or sit with your guests? (Both are OK in my book, just different ideas of how to host.)
“Oh, that picture reminds me of a story…”
“Tell me about that vase, it is very unusual.”
“How do you keep your plants looking so nice?”
Home hospitality is a lost art in much of American society. But it is even more widespread than that. After living in a big city here in Asia, I see that perhaps it is contemporary society in general that is the culprit.
The Bible speaks about hospitality. “Practice hospitality,” Romans 12:13. “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers,” Hebrews 13:2. “Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling,” 1 Peter 4:9.
Hospitality can take a variety of forms, depending on the situation. And perhaps it develops with practice. Each person or family has their own form of hospitality.
To me, hospitality means sharing a piece of me with you and it is mixed with a desire to be a blessing to you. What does hospitality mean to you?