This past Sunday our message was about being A Gospel Living Community based on 1 Peter 4:7-11. There was much to learn and be encouraged by in this message but one point stuck out to me. One of Slava's points was that "True love expresses itself through extending hospitality to one another." He reminded us that it is not a nice idea but a Christian duty......not just based on being friendly. He said that the purpose of hospitality is to create an atmosphere of biblical fellowship. I felt the Lord begin to rearrange my thinking about having people in my home.
We have recently moved into a place that is perfect for hospitality and hosting. I am grateful. I must admit having little space and resources was a bit of a deterrent. It was also a bit of an excuse. I always struggled with feeling like I had little to offer in the area of nicely laid out food and drink. I was told so many times that it didn't matter but it mattered to me. I think having a pleasing and clean environment is glorifying to God but not if it drives me to be MOM-zilla. I could get so hung up on hospitality being about a clean house, a great meal, well behaved children that I lost sight of WHY we were having people over anyway. Did I invite people over to impress them?......why do we have people in our homes if it isn't to just be friendly?
I felt my eyes were opened. My role in hospitality is to open my home and my heart to real genuine fellowship. To create an environment where people are comfortable not just on the nice clean couch that I vacuumed and febreez-ed (so it doesn't stink) but comfortable in their own skin in my house. A comfort that sets the stage for honesty and trust. A place people can feel themselves with no need to perform or measure up. A place where I and my family are transparent and genuine in our interest in their lives and struggles. I want my home to be a place of peace for my family and for those who come through it's doors.
Now I have some work to do before God with the help of the Holy Spirit.... to see what changes we need to make. It's not like I didn't want these things prior....I just was not purposeful about it.