“So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God.”Ephesians 2:19
Reception, kindhearted or hostile,
unites or separates one human from another;
whether a stranger becomes a dear guest,
or will be left behind the door as an outsider.
Jesus revealed guest-friendship as the most precious purpose in our life, the lifestyle and behaviour that well-pleases Him.
A hospitable “Welcome” opens the door for a long-lasting friendship. It represents blessings to the one who welcomes, and those who have come. True friendship always brings peace, restoration, and completeness.
Xenia (ξενία, pronounced xen-ee’-ah) is a multifaceted Greek word that introduces the ancient concept of “hospitable reception” of strangers; it stems from the word “ξένος” – stranger/alien/foreigner.
Hospitality is a wonderful practice of αγάπη (agape)—brotherly/sisterly love, and also—our love for God.
“If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.”1 John 4:20
When Adam and Eve disobeyed God’s commandment in His Garden, they saw they were naked (Genesis 3.7)—they overstepped His hospitality. Moreover, instead of immediately repenting, they started accusing each other. The moment of sin was the beginning of their exile. However, despite their transgression, God was merciful and gave them clothes made of animal skin—an enormous gesture of God’s care, and one of the first prophesies about Christ—the sacrifice of a lamb to cover our sins.
In the ancient world, captives were usually stripped, and this historical fact speaks volumes about the spiritual purpose of exile—losing the worldly clothes makes us seek and cherish the garments of our souls.
A relationship crisis, career problems, physical and mental health issues, etc . . . a spiritual exile may strike us if we are hostile toward one another and toward ourselves, and if we don’t trust God enough.
For the exile to be expired, we must stop looking back at the worn out stranger’s robes; instead, receive the new spiritual garments by welcoming the Lord Jesus Christ into your life, and keep them by imitating Christ’s model of hospitality, His pattern of sacrificial love.
“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you.” -Jesus Christ (John 15:12-13)
Our Lord God welcomes and blesses each and everyone who keeps His commandments; He gives a new identity and purpose and helps to push through the hardest of times and win many battles.
The magnitude of the task to be hospitable breathes throughout the whole Scripture, rooting in the Garden of Eden, sprouting after the flood, and maturing into a beautiful holy grapevine at the top of Calvary Hill. The Holy Bible, from “In the beginning“ until “It is finished” is the ultimate love story, the everlasting testimony of God’s hospitality, compassionate love and justice.
“. . . hospitality to strangers—both divine hospitality and human hospitality—is at the core of our faith and a necessary practice for all those who claim to follow Jesus.” —Joshua W. Jipp, Saved by Faith and Hospitality
to be continued . . .
When we share our light with one another, God pours out a rainbow upon us. Wishing you love, strength, and peace.