One of the most all-pervasive themes in Scripture is the theme of hospitality. Genesis 1 begins with God making a home for humanity and inviting us in, and Revelation 21 ends with God restoring creation into an eternal home and again inviting us in. In the Old Testament God exhorts his people again and again to show hospitality to the stranger and foreigner, for "Remember, you yourselves were once foreigners in the land of Egypt" (Exodus 22:21). In the New Testament, God opens the door wide for Gentiles to stream into his community. We are “no longer strangers and aliens... but fellow members of the household of God” (Ephesians 2:19). All this is through the radical hospitality of Jesus, who allowed himself to be tossed out that we might be brought in.
Because of the radical hospitality of the Triune God for us, the church is now to be marked by radical hospitality for others. In our society, hospitality has often been crowded out by geographic isolation and busyness that doesn't make room or time for one another. Alternatively, hospitality has been replaced by “entertaining,” a way to exhibit our perfect homes and culinary skills to others. But true hospitality is simply making space in our lives for others, not only opening our homes but opening our broken, messy lives as well. To do so is to invite others into a place of grace, where together we can enjoy the spacious welcome of God. This week we’ll be learning about practical ways we can exercise hospitality in both our homes and our church home.
1 Peter 4:9
9 Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.
Romans 12:9-13, 15:7
9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
7 Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.
18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.
19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household...
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