Shirley's Corner - Open The Door, Smile, Ask Me In1
I have been thinking about hospitality the last week or so, examining the difference between showing hospitality and entertaining guests, wondering if hospitality has gone out of style in our too busy culture.
- talking to someone face-to-face and giving them your valuable time.
- It involves opening your door and asking them to sit down and giving them your undivided attention.
- It means listening to what they say in order to know them.
- Hospitality means not only opening your door, but opening yourself and allowing people to know you..
It's easier in our world of technology to interact via e-mail, twitter, and Facebook. If we "text" we can avoid not only people's faces, but also their voices! It is an acceptable way of saying I'm so busy, I really don't have time for you in my life. That way we can control just how little we reveal about ourselves and how little we are interested in others. We don't have to be affected by the sadness we might see in their eyes or hear in their voices. We don't have to deal with seeing the expressions on their faces and can only assume they understand what we are communicating. Technology works fine in the business world, but in the Kingdom, nothing replaces "face-to-face".
Hospital and hospitality are taken from the same root word and the analogy is easily made--physically hurting, broken people go to the hospital to receive help; while spiritually hurting, broken people go to Christians to receive help.
Your place of residence may be the spiritual "hospital" God wants to use to meet the needs of His people. When Jesus was here on earth, He had no home or place of permanent residence because He had to be ready to go any time Father said, "Go"! However, He used other people's homes throughout the gospels to meet the needs of others, and He still uses the homes of His Own to meet those needs.
We all know that God is omnipresent. He is everywhere at all times, however He has specifically chosen to dwell in you. You 're not the only one dwelling in your body. I know that sounds like something out of "Star Trek" but actually according to the gospel, it's truth. Christ in you, the hope of glory. Therefore, He desires to use your body to love those He sends through your life. He desires that they see His love shining in your eyes, hearing His truth coming through your lips. He desires to hold the hurting with your arms--to express His good pleasure through your smile. In order for this to occur He needs for you to be available to Him at all times. Even as that little donkey carried Him into Jerusalem we are His carriers here in the Kingdom.
Recently, there has been introduced into the church the need to set boundaries. Many have taken this too far and are only allowing God to use their valuable lives, if it is convenient and doesn't interfere with their plans. He wants to be our Divine Priority. He gave you that time and has a right to designate how it is to be used. Sometimes you may have to cancel some plans or reschedule your agenda. We need to look at our "over scheduled " calendar and make time for His use. Personally, all my plans are now written in pencil--easily changed.
Hand everything over to Him and you will find that God directed "hospitality" is an adventure you don't want to miss!
With love from my chair at the Harvest Table,
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