What makes life meaningful and fulfilling? Is it material goods? Is it fame and popularity? Is it a lifestyle of ease and comfort? The Bible teaches us about a fruitful life characterized by five practices: radical hospitality, faith-forming relationships, extravagant generosity, risk-taking mission and service, and passionate worship. Here are several passages highlighting radical hospitality.
PRAYER: O God, You first offered me grace when you formed me in my mother’s womb, and breathed into me the breath of life. Thank you for grace. May my life offer grace to others in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Monday- Genesis 1
God does not need us. God is not dependent upon us to give God meaning and purpose. Yet, God risked everything by creating us and a space for us to live. This is so God could live in relationship with us, even though we would inevitably create problems. This became so serious that God became human in Jesus and took the rejection and pain of the cross in order to reveal the grace of hospitality once again. If we have been given this grace, how do we extend grace to others? In what ways will God move through you today to extend radical hospitality/grace to someone else?
Tuesday – Genesis 18:1-15
Abraham was just minding his own business. Three visitors show up. I guess in a desert one does not have many walk-in guests. So Abraham instantly offers hospitality: water for cleansing and refreshment, bread for food, cool shade for rest. It turns out that these three visitors are either angels or God or some combination of the above. God reveals to Abraham that he and Sarah will finally have a son. Later in the chapter, God also reveals the plans for Sodom and Gomorrah. What would Abraham have missed had he not offered hospitality? What opportunities are awaiting you?
Wednesday- Hebrews 13:1-6
The writer is wrapping up his letter with several instructions to the church. I see three instructions in the first verse.
How are these examples of radical hospitality? What examples of radical hospitality would you give from your life?
Thursday – Mark 5:21-43
A story within a story, but both examples of Jesus’ hospitality. In both cases, Jesus made space for others, especially for those in need. He made space in his time schedule. He made space in his attention and he made space in his grace of healing. He always seemed open, if not eager, to give of himself for others. Erik Routley called him the “man for others.” How can you be the man or woman for others today?
Friday – Mark 10:46-52
Bartimaeus was a blind beggar. He was a nobody. People basically ignored him. But when he heard Jesus was passing by, he refused to be silenced. He cried out for Jesus to have mercy on him. Jesus made space for him. Jesus stopped and invited him into a conversation. Jesus turned his focus on him. Jesus inquired about his need. Jesus healed the man. Jesus’ hospitality is a game-changer. Whose game can God use you to change today
Saturday – Luke 5:12-16
One of my fave stories.Jesus breached several barriers of religious and social etiquette to encounter this man that society had shunned.He had leprosy.It was a disease that would separate him from family, friends, community, and church.But Jesus broke through all those barriers to embrace him, and heal him.Could it be that some of our rules of religious and social etiquette keep people separated today?Could it be that we are more interested in protecting our images and perceptions of safety and comfort, than in helping people with real life problems?Who might be healed if we broke through barriers today?