Wednesday, December 2, 2009

One Another- Hospitality part two

Hey there! I've been out keyboard shopping most of the day for C3 (but we finally got one!)- I know this is late, but here we go:

If you tuned in Tuesday, we were asking
“Why greet one another?” “Why wash one another’s feet?” “Why wait for one another?” Interestingly enough (to me at least), each of these instructions demonstrate four common characteristics that teach us about hospitality.

The first characteristic that each of these actions communicates is priority. Authentic hospitality says "You're important to me," and it looks like this:

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality. -Romans 12:9-13

The best story I've ever heard that drives this idea home comes from the preacher and master story teller, Fred Craddock. Here's what he experienced, in his words:

I preached four nights in a church in Atlanta, a nice, big church with a good crowd, more than I'm used to. There was a moment in the service which the pastor said, "We'll now have our moments of fellowship. Greet each other in Christian love," and you never saw such hugging and carrying on in your life — people going across the room, and up and down the aisles, and grabbing and hugging. Somebody came up to me — I was down behind the pulpit — and gave me a big smack. It was just really something. Finally he said, "All right, hold it, hold it. We have to get on with the worship." Four nights of that.
The last night, he and his wife took me and my wife out to coffee. He said "Did you ever see such a family church? Did you ever see such love in your life in a church?"
My wife said, "Yeah, well, yeah, I have."
He said, "What do you mean?"
She said, "I was there for all four services, and nobody ever spoke to me."
And do you know what he said?
He said, "Well, that was because they didn't know who you were."

Wow. Reaching out to people we don't know (or don't know well) really can be difficult; it takes courage. But it seems to me that if we are only willing to say "you're important to me" to a select group, then it’s not really hospitality- it’s favoritism.

Most of us lead pretty demanding lives. Will you dare to make "one another" a priority?

I'll pick up the next one tomorrow- hope you'll join me!

In Him we live,


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