What a Life of Hospitality Means to Me?
Text: John 15:12
As I have aspired to live a life of hospitality, I’ve discovered that love is rarely if ever a matter of convenience. When I love the other, I’m required to go out of my way to speak and act self-sacrificially.
Jesus’ kind of love is not the type where he would irresistibly fall in love with me or for me. It cost him much to love me. And especially during the season of Lent, I’m invited to reflect on the measure of that cost as I consider the crucifixion. But such reflection is worthless unless it moves me toward action.
In the above text, Jesus doesn’t say that this is his suggestion. He doesn’t say that this is his request. He makes it clear that this is his commandment. We are to have no discretion in choosing when, where and under what terms or circumstances to obey.
Jesus told the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37) in response to the lawyer’s question, “And who is my neighbor?” The question that the lawyer really asked was, “Who don’t I have to love?” So Jesus makes it pretty clear that literally no one who crosses our path is exempt from our love (read hospitality).
The practical implication for me is that I am required to extend hospitality to the immigrant (whether documented or not) – to the refugee – to the Moslem – to the homeless – to the mentally ill – to the person trapped in substance abuse – the victims of human trafficking – to those who go to bed hungry at night – to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered – and so on.
Which leads me to my original conclusion: love in the form of hospitality is rarely if ever a matter of convenience. Therefore, I know I’m living a life of hospitality when this commandment causes me to divert from a more convenient path.
Prayer: O Lord, as I make my way through this day, help me to be present and aware of those who cross my path that I may offer them the hospitality that is truly indicative of your grace. Amen.
Pastor Lee Neish