Fall Sermon Series: A Hospitable God, A Hospitable People
IN HEBREWS 13:2 WE ARE INSTRUCTED, “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers.”
In her book The Gospel Comes with a House Key, Rosaria Butterfield suggests that the aim of hospitality it to help “strangers to become neighbors and neighbors to become family.” It is a nice tag line, but the more you consider what is entailed, the more you realize how radical of an idea it is – especially in our New England culture.
Why do we want to work at being hospitable? We want to work at it because God is a hospitable God.
God has extended grace to the “stranger.” The story of the Good Samaritan begins with the simple question: “Who is my neighbor?” And furthermore, the New Testament reminds us that God is forming a “family” made up of people from every imaginable background.
As we begin our journey towards a lifestyle of hospitality, we are going to begin this fall by spending time in Isaiah 56-66. It is a passage that opens up the heart of God to us and through it we see his love for the stranger and his desire to welcome people into his family.
It is also a portion of Scripture that instructs God’s people on how to “wait” for God to fulfill his promise. While we “wait” for that day when God will finally bring us home, we are to open wide our arms to the stranger and welcome them in so that they too can become family.
Yes, we are a waiting people. But, we are not an idle people. So, let us take a next step to becoming a hospitable people!