“When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.” Romans 12:13 (NLT)
What images come to mind when you hear the word ‘hospitality’? I often think of a dining table with a beautiful center piece and flickering candle light. I think of expertly prepared meals in a warm and cozy environment. When I flip through magazines or browse pinterest, I see suggestions on how to decorate homes and sumptuous recipes to make that will wow the guests.
The dictionary defines ‘hospitality’ as “the quality or disposition of receiving and treating guests and strangers in a warm, friendly, generous way.” Hotel chains are considered part of the ‘hospitality industry.’ A good hotel is known for how it treats its guests: a comfortable stay, good service, guidance on touring the area, and meeting whatever need arises. The Bible describes hospitality as a required quality for leaders in the church. The scriptures also admonish all Christians to practice hospitality, “Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” Romans 12:13
So what does hospitality mean for us as Christians?
Much of what we view as hospitality in our culture involves the details and arrangements behind hospitality. Decorating, recipes, coordinating linens, ambient lighting and music can often become the focus of hospitality. Unfortunately, we often focus so much on the details that we neglect the real heart of hospitality.
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