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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Hospitality with Sugar on Top

I don’t usually cook for the people I love. Because I love them.

And while there’s much that could be said here about being hospitable, there are also a couple of sentences I could add about being “hospital-able”—which, I’m telling you, could also be a thing.

Sometimes I imagine chefs narrating while I’m in the kitchen. Mostly I hear them saying things like, “Oh honey. Just…no.”

You’re probably tempted to tell me I can still set out a nice table of prepped and packaged store-bought goodies. Been there, bought that. And thank you, snack-packagers, for having my snack-back. The last time I did that, though, I realized I’d accidentally purchased an entire table of sugar. In addition to the cookies and candies and chocolate-covered this and that, I bought two beautiful, humongous cakes. This is great, I thought. We have one to eat now, and another one to also eat now.

Seriously. How can I be so bad at snacks that I can’t even buy them well?

We have a Bible study in my home. We hadn’t met too many times before one of the ladies volunteered to bring the food. She brings snacks for every meeting. Every. Meeting. I confess, I pray for this woman now more than I ever did before. Everyone in our Bible study does. She can never, ever miss Bible study. Ever. We need her.

Just a reminder here, that when it comes right down to it, we’re all needed. Even those of us who might be considered hospitality-challenged (hospi-snack-ety challenged?) are included here.

In Ephesians 2:12 CSB, Paul recaps life before Christ when we were “foreigners to the covenants of promise.” But then in the next verse, he reminds us as well that we are now included. Needed. On the “in.”

“But now in Christ Jesus, you who were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.”

Just a few verses later, he says,

“So then you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with the saints, and members of God’s household.” Ephesians 2:19 CSB.

Hospitality is not so much about our house. Or its snacks. It’s about that household—and expanding it to include others. As a matter of fact, hospitality is not merely welcoming people into our homes, it’s welcoming people into all our spaces. Into our lives. Into our hearts.

Hebrews 13:1-2 puts it together this way:

“Let brotherly love continue. Don’t neglect to show hospitality.”

Without the heart, it’s not the genuine, Jesus kind of hospitality.

I love the part of this passage that gives us the how-to when it comes to loving and showing that hospitality. It’s in verses 20-21.

“Now may the God of peace, who brought up from the dead our Lord Jesus—the great Shepherd of the sheep—through the blood of the everlasting covenant, equip you with everything good to do his will, working in us what is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.”

Who equips? Not narrating chefs. Not snack-packers or cake-bakers. Only our God equips us to do His will, through Jesus.

What sweet relief. Everything He wants to accomplish, He will do. All glory to Him.

It’s also a relief to remember that hospitality is about the people, not the party spread. I don’t even have to sugarcoat that. Though let’s be real, I could totally sugarcoat that if I wanted to.

Adapted from Fix Her Upper: Reclaim Your Happy Space by Rhonda Rhea and Beth Duewel, Copyright © June 27, 2019, Bold Vision Books.

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