Once you start opening your heart and hands to the needs of others around you, you’ll find you want to open your home, too. Invite people to get together, either at your house or elsewhere. Use it as a chance to pray for each other or just a chance to be hospitable.
Green: Offer to share your table, wherever that might be.
Amber: Send round the invitations to your place and get the kettle on or arrange a meet up at a café. If you get tongue-tied when it comes to talking about your faith, the Talking Jesus course will help.
Red: Offer your home to meet up once a week through Lent, and perhaps beyond – you could use our 40acts small group studies as a focus. Also, HOPE’s giveaway magazine HOPE for All makes a great conversation starter with guests – leave a copy on your coffee table.
“Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others…” (1 Peter 4:9–10 NIV)
Some of the most generous hospitality I have ever received has been from my brothers and sisters in the black, Asian and minority ethnic churches where I’ve been invited to speak.
One occasion stands out. I was warmly welcomed with great coffee when I arrived. Then I was given an amazing lunch after the service, but I was puzzled when they asked me for my car keys. It wasn’t until I got home later that day that I discovered they had packed the boot of the car with a luxury hamper filled with delicious treats. It wasn’t an affluent church, but they had treated me with extravagant generosity and honour. I was amazingly blessed.
Great hospitality need not be expensive – though it can be costly in terms of the time spent to care for the needs of others. At HOPE Together we encourage hospitality as a starting point to get to know people in the wider community. Hospitality forms a bridge to building relationships where we can show God’s love unconditionally and tell the Jesus story.
Sharing a meal with someone is a powerful demonstration that you accept them. It is no surprise that we often read about Jesus eating meals with people, even though He was criticised for it by the religious establishment who described Him as ‘a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ (Matthew 11:19).
Breaking bread together is at the heart of our Christian faith. Let’s follow Jesus in making simple acts of hospitality a central part of our lives together.