Dive Deeper: September 27 Radical Hospitality

Day 1 – Psalm 9:7-9

The psalmist connects God’s past wondrous deeds to the present and future deeds in vs 7-10.  God, he insists, reigns over the whole universe. Because God rules, the psalmist can profess, “The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.”  This refuge does not need payment like a hotel, it is not reliant on the notoriety of our own name or the social sphere we belong to.  God provides a safe place for all persons well into the future.  

Day 2 – Romans 15:5-13

Simply said, because God welcomes us through the acts of Jesus Christ we are also to welcome others in that same spirit.  This is the deep root of hospitality.  God’s will to welcome all persons recasts our understanding as Christians of what a good society or authentic community looks like.  What do you do in your life to welcome all people?  How does it embody our understanding of God’s grace?

Day 3 – Hebrews 13:1-3, 5-7

In the midst of World War II a small community in France opened up hospitality to all persons who are fleeing oppression, terror, and ultimately death.  Welcoming all, they knew that they might be oppressed, terrorized, and ultimately led to death.  “The Lord is my helper, and I won’t be afraid.  What can people do to me?” (Hebrew 13:6)  There might be a number of reasons that we don’t cross the line from being friendly to hospitable, but the fullness Christ’s message reminds us who is Lord and who will protect. 

Day 4 – Isaiah 58:1-2, 6-9a

Sometimes we justify the inaction of hospitality by noting that God is with “us” and not with “them”—whoever “them” might represent.  Fortunately, this couldn’t be any farther from the truth.  Isaiah wrestles with a nation who has lost its direction; and started to resemble something other than the God in which they belong.  We are reminded what God’s yoke looks like.  “Sharing bread with the hungry…light to those who need healing, a place where people cry out and God says, ‘I am here.”  Do we/you help in cultivating this space in the world?  I hope so.

Day 5 – Luke 14:7-14

Jesus loved the gatherings around meals.  It should not be surprising that Jesus shares a meal with those who believe differently than him; the Pharisees.  It removes any of our negative impressions and examines who is insider and outsider.  Meals seem to provide central settings for Jesus’ mission.  To share a moment of hospitality neutralizes the definition of insider or outsider and furthers Jesus’ mission.  Take some time today to share something with another person—to neutralize differences and strengthen Jesus’ mission in and through you. 

Day 6 – 2 Kings 6:22-23

It matters what we do when given great power.  How we are stewards of that power, when needed do we exert, what priority do we hold?  Before and after this passage you know that God placed these men right in the middle of those that are powerful.  The powerful could have killed them, but they realized that God was the one with the real power, not them.  We have great power through God’s name to show mercy or judgment…but this is God’s power not ours and God chooses mercy, hospitality, and welcoming.     


Weekly Prayer

Lord, give me the eyes of Jesus to see my neighbors and the strangers I meet. Teach me what it means to love the stranger as I love myself. Forgive me for moments of selfishness, for my silence, for not caring enough for the strangers who come to into my life. Teach me to love and care for the stranger the way you do. AMEN