Living Out My Faith with Hospitality
AS FAR BACK AS I CAN REMEMBER, practicing hospitality in one way or another has been a part of my life. My father died when I was very young. Although we didn’t have a lot of money, my mom often invited relatives to come and stay with us. With what she had, she would often help others out with a meal. I grew up seeing hospitality in action.
I continue to be friends with people I have known since elementary school. One dear friend, who tells me that I was her first friend, moved to my town from another state. She reminds me often of her first day in that new school. She was scared because she didn’t know anyone, or have anyone to sit with, or anyone to talk to. I don’t remember this, but she tells me I was the person who spoke to her and invited her to sit with me in the lunch room. I introduced her to other friends. In high school, I tried to make it a practice to invite new people to our table, or to go over and make new students feel welcome. Even before I was a follower of Jesus, I felt it was important to welcome people.
Fast forward to college where I became a follower of Jesus. As I found myself in new settings, I began to see how God had been preparing me to continue to use my practice of welcoming people, but now for His kingdom. For example, at retreats, I offered to help with new people. After Tim and I got married, we enjoyed hosting missionaries for a meal, or inviting them to stay at our house during a Missions Conference. That was always such a blessing. At other times, we offered up our spare room to those who lost housing for one reason or another.
When I was asked to be a greeter here at WEFC, it seemed the natural thing to do, to welcome people on a Sunday morning as they joined us for church. I love meeting new people, and although my memory is not that great, God has given me the ability to remember names pretty well. I love greeting all the different age groups. It is a joy to see them smile as they know I remember them. It is a joy to use the gift of hospitality that Jesus has so graciously given me.
Hospitality for me comes in many forms, from asking people to our home for a meal, to giving someone a place to stay, to simply talking to others who may be new and making them feel welcome. It might even be just asking someone to sit with me on a Sunday morning. I know you can also think of other ways that are uniquely yours to make someone feel more comfortable and welcome as you go about living out your faith.