"Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares." Hebrews 13:2 ESV
Hospitality is a fascinating theme, isn’t it? When I started reading the Bible in 2016, on its pages I discovered two basic criterions that are obligatory to be righteous in the eyes of God—Faith and Hospitality. Sounds like a pair of the quality booties for every occasion, booties that never go out of style, booties that are meant for walking and living out the will of God daily.
I’d love to introduce you three books, that are directing the reader toward faith and hospitality, but each of them is a unique perspective. You may want to read them all to get a better idea of how you could show faith+hospitality in your everyday life.
Saved by Faith and Hospitality
The first book, “Saved by Faith and Hospitality”, is a significant work of Joshua W. Jipp. It’s a great source, rich in detailed cultural, historical facts, and biblical references. The author draws attention to the thought-provoking nuances on what it meant to be a hospitable Christian during the lifetime of the Apostles of Jesus Christ: the accommodation and taking care of strangers, foreigners, and poor people, widows and orphans. The author suggests that we could practice hospitality by helping immigrants, which is a brilliant recommendation. After reading an ebook I ordered a paperback. I’d love to reread it in the nearest future.
“In his parable of the sheep and the goats (Matt 25:31-46), Jesus famously declares that those who will inherit the kingdom of God are those who perform merciful acts of hospitality: ‘for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’”
“The God of the Christian Scriptures is a God of hospitality.”
“Christians must reject anything that dehumanizes, stigmatizes, and perpetuates violence against the marginalized and vulnerable.”
“God’s people are called upon to reject every instance of xenophobia, and this is predicated upon the fact that God loves the immigrant.”
“But the hospitality of God that Jesus provides satisfies humanity’s deeper craving for transcendence and ultimate meaning—for life with God.”
“God’s embrace of humanity into friendship with Him is the ultimate form of welcoming the stranger.”
“The entire ministry of Jesus is appropriately captured in thee phrase “divine hospitality to the stranger and sinner.”
—Joshua W. Jipp, Saved by Faith and Hospitality (Amazon link)
The Gospel Comes with the House Key
I loved the book written by Rosaria Butterfield “The Gospel Comes with the House Key: Practising Radically Ordinary Hospitality in our Post-Christian World.” I listened to the audio edition which is narrated by the author, and it’s lovely. Rosaria Butterfield invites the reader into her home to show how God can use ordinary hospitality as a tool to bring the Gospel to our friends and neighbours. A dinner for the whole neighbourhood? That’s easy! She cooks meals for 10 people every night and allows neighbors to just walk into her house—such an admirable level of faith, I should say. She has left an impression of a perfect woman, who sacrifices herself to serve others. There are many insights in the book to think deeply about, and to implement some of them.
The author highlights that all Christians are called to practice hospitality in their homes. She defines a radically ordinary hospitality as using our Christian home in a daily way that seeks to make strangers neighbors, and neighbors family of God. She says, that hospitality shares what there is and that’s all, that it’s not entertainment and it’s not supposed to be.
“Christians are called to live in the world but not live like the world. Christians are called to dine with sinners but not sin with sinners. But either way, when Christians throw their lot in with Jesus, we lose the rights to protect our own reputation.”
“It means we know that only hypocrites and cowards let their words be stronger than their relationships, making sneaky raids into culture on social media or behaving like moralizing social prigs in the neighborhood”
― Rosaria Champagne Butterfield, The Gospel Comes with a House Key: Practicing Radically Ordinary Hospitality in Our Post-Christian World (Amazon link)
Hospitality and the Holy Spirit
“I’ve spent time thinking about my purpose and the why behind what I do. My personal intention is to live a life that demonstrates hospitality and kindness.” — Denise Maiatico, Hospitality and the Holy Spirit
The third book “Hospitality and the Holy Spirit: A hotelier’s stories and perspective on what the Bible tells us about taking care of people”, is the one I enjoyed very much. It is written by the lady who has been working in hospitality industry for many years. Denise Maiatico shares her experience and thoughts of what it’s like to serve the strangers and solve the unexpected weird situations with warmth and humour. There are also wonderful short prayers in every chapter, which add sweetness to the entire book. Overall, it’s a very inspiring book, applicable at almost every job connected to people’s service.
“My personal intention is to live a life that demonstrates hospitality and kindness.”
“It’s not what you do. It’s how you do it.”
“I believe I can be great at my job and live as an example of a woman seeking Christ and behaving in a way that reflects my values.”
— Denise Maiatico, Hospitality and the Holy Spirit (Amazon link)
Opening the doors of your house to neighbors is definitely a ministry worthy of admiration and fulfillment, but I guess it is not what everyone is called to do as radically as the author of the book “The Gospel Comes with the House Key”. Sometimes there is simply no neighborhood!
We can take care of people in very versatile ways. The point is, and it’s just my humble opinion, to be ready to serve when the particular situation knocks on the door; we should never be indifferent to the needs of people whom we meet on our life’s journey. And for such situations our arms, just like a non-squeaking door, must be wide open to embrace a guest in need. The one who chases Jesus, must follow the will of God; and our God calls His children to love one another, it means to take care of one another. Simple as that.
It’s a beautiful act to spread a little love to someone in need. It can be your relative, who needs a cheer up, or your local children’s hospital, that is desperately looking for financial support, for instance. Do it because you respect God’s will, do it because there’s someone in that hospital who will be healed thanks to your timely generosity. Do it because you are here to love.
Do you remember the scene from the Bible called “The Most Important Commandment”? (Luke 10:25–29 NLT):
One day an expert in religious law stood up to test Jesus by asking him this question: “Teacher, what should I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus replied, “What does the law of Moses say? How do you read it?” The man answered, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” “Right!” Jesus told him. “Do this and you will live!” The man wanted to justify his actions, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
What did Jesus answer? He told the famous parable of the good Samaritan. Read the full parable in Luke 10:30–37. Shortly it is about helping people in need, moreover it’s about having mercy on people we do not like, it is about taking care even of the enemy if he is in trouble and needs immediate help.
There’s a great movie that wonderfully portrays the good Samaritan. It is called ‘Tangerines’. I saw it’s available to watch on Amazon Prime, perhaps it is on Netflix, too. You’re going to love it.
Click here to watch “Tangerines” on Amazon Prime .
Thanks for reading. God bless you all! 💛🌱 @lightofxenia