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We've been talking about authentic hospitality this week, and I wanted to finish up today, but I think we need to let each of our four characteristics have their own post. So, if you can hang in there a little longer we'll cover them all!
The third characteristic that each of these actions (greeting one another; washing one another's feet; waiting for one another) demonstrates is affiliation. I got an up-close lesson in the all-around awesomeness of affiliation earlier this week.
Our family was driving back from meeting some friends for dinner on Wednesday, and my youngest daughter said, "I'd like to take a walk when we get home." My wife and my oldest daughter each had a couple of things they needed to get done, so it ended up being just the two of us heading back out into the wonderfully chilly evening. It was already dark, so the houses with Christmas lights were glowing like beacons on each street.
We stepped to the sidewalk and started on our way, when a remarkable thing happened. She reached out and grabbed my hand and held on for the entire walk. For those of you who don't know us well, I should mention that my youngest daughter is twelve. That's the age when you begin to walk a few steps ahead or behind your parents because, well, they're your parents. We wandered up and down several streets, stopped at a couple of houses with impressive displays, and talked about anything she wanted to talk about. There wasn't an agenda; we were just enjoying being together as family.
It was an amazing walk, and it reminded me how important affiliation is to the "one another-ness" of hospitality. Essentially her actions said, "I want to be associated with you," and that sentiment reminds me of Paul's words in Galatians 3:26-27 when he says, "You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ."
Authentic hospitality is wonderful in part because it gives us the opportunity to simply enjoy being God's family.
It's life together!
In Him we live,