Is hospitality becoming a lost art? It seems that most often when the word is used today it refers to the businesses of hotels, motels, inns, and bed & breakfast homes. According to the Britannica World Language Dictionary hospitality is defined as: "the spirit, practice or act of being hospitable." OK, now their definition of hospitable: "disposed to behave in a warm manner or to entertain with generous kindness"
Our family has lived in many different states across America. We were always in a local church with "our church family," where ever we called home. I remember in the late 1960's and into the 1970's people much more often gathered in each others homes, or arranged meetings at area restaurants, following the worship services. It seems that now it happens far less often, because we are all so busy. Some of our current church members do meet at a fast food restaurant after the evening service; and occasionally on a fifth Sat. evenings we pick out a restaurant to fellowship together.
I do not have the "gift" of hospitality. (Romans 12:13) Cooking is a large part of entertaining and hospitality; and I do not like to cook. I often get frustrated like Martha, the sister of Lazarus! I know I should not; and I have positive examples from my younger sister and her daughter. They each excel in hospitality!
As I wrote the word hospitality something caught my eye, within the word we find a shorter word, "hospital!" Hmmmthat's something to think about, back to the dictionary: "an institution for the reception, care, and medical treatment of the sick and wounded." Our world is full of wounded people. Could our homes be a hospital for them? Wait, there's more from the dictionary, "an inn or hospice, formerly a place of hospitality for those in need of shelter and maintenance; foundling hospital." Wow, the Lord guides us to allow our homes to be hospitals, places of refuge and healing!
Men, hospitality is not limited to "the woman of the house." God can use you, too. "An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach (I Timothy3:2 NAS)."
Men or women, young or old, all can extend hospitality; and remember you never know who may show up at your door! "Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it (Hebrews 13:2 NAS)." If they crash your party your life may never be the same!
Freelance writer of both fiction and non-fiction. Devotional writing is her first love. Published articles in Mature Living Magazine, Devotions for the Deaf, The Secret Place, Light from the Word, Coosa Journal and more. Devotions included in Tyndale Publisher's 'The One Year Devotional of Joy and Laughter' by Mary Hollingsworth.
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