The Heart of Hospitality Part 2, Your Part Matters

Photo courtesy of aopsan at
Photo courtesy of aopsan at

Welcome to Part 2 of my three-part post on the Heart of Hospitality—those states-of-heart we need before we can welcome others into our presence and community.

In Part 1 I claimed that we each need a solid sense of home in God’s love ourselves before we can truly be hospitable to others. The good news is, that home in God’s love is readily available to all of us who would receive it.

Such a soul home is necessary, but it’s not sufficient. Receiving God’s love for ourselves doesn’t inherently make us look outward to others. (We can be a selfish lot. Sigh.)

The Christian must also have come to the basic conviction that her hospitality matters. She’s not so individualistic that she’s blind to others’ human need for warmth and welcome. Nor is she so insecure that she doubts her warm welcome would be of value to anyone. We each have a part to play, in the measure of our personality’s capacity.

Picture a room full of people, and just for the sake of argument, let’s say it’s a group of strangers or barely-acquaintances. In that setting, some of us could prayerfully consider which one person the Holy Spirit is prompting us to walk up to and offer a sincere, warm greeting. Others can easily swish around and make twenty-five people feel welcome and loved in a matter of minutes, even if we’ve never met any of them.

If we happen to be in the spotlight, we can sincerely welcome the whole group, and infuse our spotlight role with an attitude of welcome. The setting might modify our welcoming role. But everyone’s hospitality matters in every setting.

You and I can’t always predict where or to whom our overtures in hospitality will matter most. Sometimes those who display the least appreciation for our warmth are the ones most starved for it.

To what extent do you think Christ’s hospitality can flow through you at this point in your life? To what extent do you feel it matters? What is the Holy Spirit stirring in your heart about it now?

“The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I do not need you,’ nor in turn can the head say to the foot, ‘I do not need you.’ – 1 Corinthians 12:21 

About Jess Mason

Jess Mason, M.A., M.Div. is a licensed minister, spiritual director, and director of the DeeperHope Institute for Women's Spiritual Life. She currently pastors the Wednesday Women's Community at Free Christian Church in Andover, MA. She lives in Haverhill, MA with her husband, Elliott.

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