Note: During the month of August, I will be going back to previous SUMS Remix issues relating to hospitality in the home that have not been published here on the Wednesday Weekly Reader. Why? In these crazy times, we could all use a refresher in how to be a better neighbor. I’m also posting these to support an Auxano initiative during the month of August, Building Bridges to our Neighbors.
In April 2020, as this issue of SUMS Remix was being prepared, most of the United States was under some type of mandate restricting movement. Typically called “physical distancing,” the intent is to minimize the chances of the coronavirus being spread by maintaining a distance of at least six feet when you are in public settings.
However, even if “physical distancing” (the more correct term) is required, “social interaction” is needed more now than ever before.
Efforts taken to slow the spread of the coronavirus should encourage strengthening social ties while maintaining that physical distancing.
Therefore, some of this content may not be applicable under current restrictions in your community; however, the intent is critical in moving forward as we demonstrate hospitality to our neighborhoods, in every season
According to Rosaria Butterfield,
Christians are called to live in the world but not live like the world. Christians are called to dine with sinners but not sin with sinners.
We live in a world awash with counterfeit hospitality. Knowing the difference between the grace of God and its counterfeit is crucial to Christian living.
Hospitality shares what there is; that’s all. It’s not entertainment. It’s not supposed to be.
THE QUICK SUMMARY
When people live in community moved by the gospel and marked by the Spirit, great things happen.
They commit to one another. They grieve together, sing together, eat, pray, and play together. They love, serve, honor, encourage, and provide for each other gladly. And they live on mission together.
Hearts are healed, walls come down, and outsiders come in. No competition. No pretense. No vain conceit. Just full hearts breaking bread and giving freely.
It is nothing short of amazing.
Most of us live in a shadow of what God intended for us. Life in Community calls us into the light. Reclaiming Scripture’s stunning vision of gospel-centered community, it inspires us to live in love unbounded. Read it, live it, and join the movement: Help unleash the power of extraordinary community.
A SIMPLE SOLUTION
According to author Dustin Willis, too often we view our homes as a place of refuge rather than tools to advance the gospel. We come home from work or school or other obligations, pull in the driveway, go into the house, and lock the door behind us. The next morning we reverse that order, and repeat the pattern day after day.
Hospitality gives us the opportunity to break that cycle, and live out the gospel to those we invite into our homes.
In Romans 12:13, Paul challenges us to “pursue hospitality.” It’s not a once and done proposition; it’s an idea of continuous action.
Hospitality is the practical outworking of the gospel into the rhythm of our everyday lives. We practice hospitality when we consistently receive others into our lives and homes in the same fashion as Christ received us.
The home is the greatest environment that exists to create and cultivate community. But how do we “do it right”?
Hospitality is Not About Entertaining
We’re inviting folks into real life in a way that they get to know the real us, and feel comfortable enough to be their real selves, which leads to real community. Relax and let people see you and how God’s grace meets you in your messy life.
Hospitality is About an Open Life
Hospitality is about relational posture and attitude far more than any skill, action, or practice. It’s a heart that says, “Yes there is room in my life for you.”
Hospitality is a Community Project
Hospitality is a community endeavor. God has sovereignly placed you with the people you are around so you can team up in your efforts. Every shortcoming you have is an opportunity for God to provide through someone else.
Hospitality Can Be Planned or Spontaneous
Whether you are a Type A planner or a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants personality, you can make hospitality a regular part of your life.
Hospitality is Powerful
Scriptural patterns of hospitality shows that genuine love leads to offering hospitality – both for those in our community and for strangers outside of our community.
Hospitality is Worth the Sacrifice
Gospel community calls us to give up the isolated view of our home. By pursuing hospitality, we grow from a self-focused, self-centered way of life and use our homes as a tool for displaying the gospel.
Dustin Willis, Life In Community: Joining Together to Display the Gospel
A NEXT STEP
As appropriate, with regard to your current shelter-in-place or government recommendations, take author Dustin Willis’ practical ideas for pursuing hospitality in your home.
What night of the week could you commit to invite someone into your home for a meal?
Do you know your neighbors’ names? What would it take for you to learn their names and something simple about them?
What would it take for you to offer them hospitality?
Who’s the new family on the block? Is there a new coworker? Could you invite them to dinner?
Hospitality is a great way to provide a tangible blessing (a warm meal) and a source of encouragement (a warm conversation) to those who are broken. Who around you is hurting?
Part of a weekly series on 27gen, entitled Wednesday Weekly Reader
Regular daily reading of books is an important part of my life. It even extends to my vocation, where as Vision Room Curator for Auxano I am responsible for publishing SUMS Remix, a biweekly book “excerpt” for church leaders. Each Wednesday on 27gen I will be taking a look back at previous issues of SUMS Remix and publishing an excerpt.
August Special: When you purchase a SUMS Remix annual subscription during the month of August, you will also receive a PDF containing all seven issues of SUMS Remix that have a “hospitality in the home” theme. The PDF will be emailed to you after purchase.