Yesterday, on the spur of the moment, I was invited to a friend’s home for lunch. She had the day off unexpectedly and as she prepared her lunch, she wanted someone with whom to share the meal. A quick phone call and two of us set aside our plans for an even better plan.
We arrived at noon to a table set with chicken salad, pears and cottage cheese, ripe red tomato wedges, and tapioca pudding with raspberries. A delicious simple meal, made excellent by laughter and friendship.
We used everyday dishes and laughed that she’d put off her cleaning to prepare lunch – so once we left, she had to dive in to do all the cleaning that we didn’t notice needed to be done.
While we often think of daintily set tables with sparkling china, silver, and crystal as the criteria for hospitality, it was my friend’s joy in serving and being with us that made everything sparkle. Several time she remarked how glad she was that we could come. I’m not sure I’ve ever felt so welcomed, so wanted.
Even today, I still smile as I think of her enthusiasm of hospitality.
And through her example, God reminded me of what hospitality is –
- Joy in serving
- Opening your home
- Sharing together your joys and sorrows, your life
- Thanking God for His blessings
- Being His blessing to others
- Forgetting yourself and glorifying Him
and what it is not –
- Having a perfectly clean home
- Or perfectly decorated home
- Planning for weeks
- Preparing elaborate dishes
- Pulling out your best china
- Stressing over the details
- Wearing a frown
The joy on my friend’s face will remain a very special memory as well as a reminder that God loves when we offer hospitality.
“Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.” Romans 12:9-13
And a special reminder to me when I share the blessing of my home with others:
“Be hospitable to one another without grumbling.” I Peter 4:9