Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The grace of hospitality...

Time for another Scripture...I'm continuing with the short passage in 1 Peter 4 that I started at the beginning of the month. The first verse I've learned (I think -- I'm about to type it from memory) is:

"Above all, love each other deeply, 
because love covers over a multitude of sins."     
-- 1 Peter 4:8 (NIV)

(nailed it. of course, it is kind of short!)

The next verse is:

"Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.

That's in the NIV, but I think I prefer the more positive New Living Translation for this verse:

"Cheerfully share your home 
with those who need a meal or a place to stay."      
-- 1 Peter 4:9

Isn't that beautiful? 

And this is one of those verses which the Amplified translation really, really amplifies! Check this out:

"Practice hospitality to one another 
(those of the household of faith). 
[Be hospitable, be a lover of strangers, 
with brotherly affection for the unknown guests, 
the foreigners, the poor, and all others 
who come your way who are of Christ’s body.] 
And [in each instance] do it ungrudgingly 
(cordially and graciously, without complaining 
but as representing Him)."

Wow. Confession: I'm not the most naturally hospitable person. When we built our home 20 1/2 years ago, I had a four-year-old and a two-year-old and it felt for years like the house was always in a state of chaotic mess. For some reason, I thought it had to be "perfect" to invite people over and I think I let anxiety or pride or whatever keep me from being as hospitable as I should have been. Fast forward to today and my empty nest (while not immaculately clean always) is generally in a state of order because it's just the two of us. 
So now what's my excuse?

I want to take the challenge of this verse and be more intentional in showing hospitality ("generous and friendly treatment of visitors and guests; kindness in welcoming guests or strangers.") It will take intentionality (as in, actually inviting people over to eat) and maybe a smidge of preparation -- food, clean sheets! -- so I'm ready to be welcoming. I want to let go of any preconceived notions of perfection and focus on my guests, not my house or my cooking or myself. I have a little napkin framed in my kitchen that says this:

I love my is a blessing far beyond anything I deserve...and I want to use it to bless others. 

So, what are your hospitality tips? Or what verse are you learning this time? I'd love to know!


Christin Mohon said...

You are one of the most hospitable people i know! & mr. Jesse! I mean warm beds, milk at night, french toast, keurig tea, burrito bowls with homegrown everything, brownie & milk after lunch, then being made to take a nap, sweet conversations of encouragement & challenge to lead q life of glorification to Christ, & i mean that is just the beginning! Thankful for the youngs! I love my visits there! :) yall are such a blessing!

Leslie Young said...

Well, this just made me cry a little, Christin! You have been a source of encouragement and affirmation to me the entire time I've known you! (are we going on six years now? seven?) So thankful for you -- and you know you are ALWAYS welcome!