Hospitality is defined as “the friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers.” What is hospitality in a Christian context? Is it any different than the definition above?
Within a Christian context I like to think of hospitality as creating a safe, friendly and caring space for God, the guest and the host. A space where physical needs and comforts are met so that we all can connect with God well. Let’s consider Leviticus 19:33-34 together.
‘“Do not take advantage of foreigners who live among you in your land. Treat them like native-born Israelites, and love them as you love yourself. Remember that you were once foreigners living in the land of Egypt. I am the Lord your God.’ Leviticus 19:33-34
This is a great reminder and there are a few things we can take from this. A guests needs and desires will be like our own and so we love them as we would love ourselves. At times, we too are guests and we should keep this in mind as host others. Finally, the last sentence “I am the Lord your God.” tells us that this command is in keeping with God’s Character. He loves the guest, the foreigner, in fact to God one could say that we are all guests. We are not fit to be in his presence yet his grace allows for us to come joyfully into his presence. God is in fact the most gracious host we could possibly emmulate!
What does this mean for you? How can you create a space for others and you to be with God? Think of the different people and places where you can practice this kind of hospitality! People are able to grow well in a relationship with Jesus when they experience a space created for them and God to be together.