Cesar Chavez who was a civil rights activist once said, “If you really want to make a friend, go to someone’s house and eat with him…the people who give you their food give you their heart.”
Have you ever been to someone’s house where they treated you as if you were royalty for no other reason than they wanted to show you how much they cared? They probably have the gift of hospitality. Now, I get it that not everyone has that gift, but we do have the gift of love.
My family and I were recently invited to dinner from a friend. I thought what a nice gesture, and so we accepted the offer. But upon arriving- going out for dinner was an understatement. We were warmly welcomed by name. Seated at a table where several dishes of appetizers were brought out. Water and champagne were served without asking for it. A gourmet dinner and enough dessert to stuff us to the brim were served. The friend who invited us to dinner owned the restaurant and did everything in his power to make sure we were well taken care of.
I remember walking away from this experience thinking I thought I knew what hospitality was…but I was wrong. I wonder if that’s how the people whom Jesus served, loved, and cared for felt? They probably experienced a whole new level of radical hospitality.
As small group point people, I was recently challenged to create space in my life for radical hospitality- more than just casually hanging out and having people over. What does it look like to model this? How can this be a core value of our small groups? It doesn’t even need to revolve around food (though, that’s a plus)! But, what areas are we challenging groups to take the definition of community to a whole new level? Are the people in our groups just rubbing shoulders with each other or are they also washing their feet? I walked away from that dinner feeling like I didn’t deserve to be treated that well. I was served beyond expectation, and true hospitality always adds value to and blesses other people.
If the value of hospitality is a core value of our leadership, many people will experience coming to the feet of Jesus.
When we are willing to invite, engage, and open up our everyday space- radical hospitality occurs in ways we may never expect it.
- Invite often
- Engage intentionally
- Go the extra mile