Romans 12: 13 "Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality."
My mother has the gift of hospitality. I thought it was a good thing, but as a child and youth it would sometimes annoy me. For example, whenever I would get a new teacher in the start of the new school year, my mother would invite them over to the house. As my new teacher was in my house, mom would ask them: How is Eddy doing? This would be about September or October into the new year, and the teacher would say something like, "He is doing fine." This would embarrass me - especially when I was in grade seven.
Mom would usually cook the food for Sunday on Saturday evening - usually soup and buns. The food was nothing fancy but it was abundant and certainly provided enough for our family and others mom would invite over. Hardly a Sunday would go by without someone from our church or community in our living room. Mom would invite couples and singles - it did not matter. She would invite people over without expecting them to do the same in return.
I look back with gratitude for having that experience in my life. Certainly, not all of us have the gift of hospitality. But we are all called to participate in hospitality. Not all of us need to invite people into our homes, but to reach out with a handshake, a conversation, a word of encouragement. Jesus showed tremendous hospitality in life. He would meet and share food, time and conversation with them. The story of the feeding of the thousand shows that when we share with others, we are in-line with the ministry of Christ.
On September 8th we had our congregation open house/BBQ where we shared food and had fellowship as the start of the church year. We have monthly men's breakfast and women's breakfast, coffee and refreshments after church, and the mid-week cafe to name a few ministries. On Tuesday, September 17th we are starting a weekly church dinner (called 'The HUBB') for congregants and as an outreach to the community. We are inviting the community to join us as a gift of hospitality. The wonderful part is that we can all participate just by coming and joining in the meal.
God has blessed us and we respond in thanks by sharing with others. Let us encourage one another to that end.