When I think about the meaning of the word hospitality, the first person that comes to mind is Mother Teresa. Most of us know who Mother Teresa is; a Catholic nun, world renown missionary, and Nobel Peace Prize Winner. She gave food to the hungry, medicine to the sick, and took care of the poor. But the challenge of hospitality to those in need, isn’t just limited to those in “ministry,” but is meant to challenge all of us. Luke 14:12-14 gives us an insight of what it means to be hospitable, and who we should be hospitable to.
“He said to the man who had invited him, ‘ When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid’.”
I can almost guarantee that 99% of you reading this, have had dinner with your family before. I’m sure most of us probably had lunch or breakfast with friends, or had invited neighbors to a family junction. But let me ask you a question… does that challenge you to be more hospitable? Being kind to those who love and care for us is important, but what reward will you get from God? God is calling you to do more than just serve those who belong in your bubble, he’s created you to do much more for others.
“But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind…”
Being hospitable to those less fortunate than ourselves is an illumination of God’s love working through us, to touch the lives of hurting people. Here’s a quote from Mother Teresa: “Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.” You are meant to be God’s ambassador to the hurting people of the world, however small or big that may be.
“… and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”
How much greater will God bless you? Getting gifts and invites from friends and family is good, but serving God and spreading the love of Jesus to those in need is even greater. Paul says this in Galatians 1:10,
“Am I now seeking the approval of men or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
How can God use you this week to bless others? Seek God’s blessings by being a servant to others without expecting anything in return. The challenge of hospitality isn’t easy, but it is both enriching and rewarding.