June 20, 2018
I have read two books recently about hospitality. One is called “Stranger God” and deals with the directive in Hebrews: “Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing, some people have entertained angels without knowing it.” The other is called “The Gospel Comes with a House Key” and suggests that our home needs to be a welcome center where people will feel comfortable to come, eat and talk.
Both of these concepts pretty much violate the American dream of living in a quiet neighborhood with walls around our property and electronic garage doors that allow us to get in and out of our house without conversation with anyone. Privacy is our goal as we leave the noisy world behind and enjoy the comfort of our home.
You can imagine that this kind of reading gets to me, because I struggle with the desire to welcome everyone while also cherishing quiet family time at home. I do not like to think of anyone being all alone, while at the same time I understand the foolishness of trying to solve everyone’s problems.
One book suggested we develop an attitude that lets people know our home is a place they can come anytime with any issue to find a helping hand and a listening ear. It can involve a lot of risk and heartache. The reward will be seeing some people find hope and direction for their life ‒ even meet Jesus and secure their place in eternity with Him. Hospitality evangelism seems to be one of the major tools Jesus used to bring people to Himself.
I am committed to more reading and putting into practice some of the ideas offered. But I admit to having more frustration than joy at the moment, because the need is so great and my commitment is so limited. I do not expect to ever measure up to the potential of the challenge, but I admire those who do and I will try to be supportive and involved.
Pastor Bill Ehmann