Sow & Gather

The World Needs Hospitality - - Not Entertaining!

ThanksgivingMarci Anthony7 Comments

Share with God’s people who are in need.  Practice hospitality.   Romans 12:13

About this time of year, I start to get anxious about what to prepare for the family Thanksgiving meal. Thankfully, I only have to bring a few dishes to share with a sizable family of twenty-five.

One year I decided to depart from the traditional dressing and go rogue with an apple and sausage dressing. Sounds somewhat delightful – right?

Well, let’s just say that each year my family says a prayer of praise when they see the traditional corn bread stuffing on the table!

Why do we get so caught up in the meal, the presentation, and the spotless house? There have been so many times when my focus was on myself as the host and the presentation verses the true needs of my guests.

In this passage in Romans, Paul is reminding his readers how to live as redeemed people in this fallen world. When Paul says “practice hospitality,” he is not saying that we should esteem ourselves as the perfect host and throw the perfect party, but quite the opposite. How we view hospitality in the western world is not what this word in the original Greek (philonexia) meant; which is to entertain strangers.

Taking our eyes off ourselves and the entertainment and giving attention to our guests and their needs is practicing hospitality. These guests may be your neighbors, work colleagues, or someone God has placed in your path. Their needs may be a meal, shelter, childcare, elder care, mentoring, or just friendship.

The great news about hospitality is that it can be performed in the messiest of homes (I'm grateful), school playground, park, or wherever you happen to be.

Whether we are sharing with a believer in need or sharing our faith with the lost, practicing hospitality is a way we can live out our faith each day.

This year I pray that God will focus my heart on my family and guests and less on the presentation. May my guests be filled up with the love of Christ through me and less on the dish I prepare (even if it is the apple sausage stuffing!)

Dig Deeper |

Romans 12:9–21

Action Item |

Where is my focus this Thanksgiving season? Are you more caught up in being the perfect host or pouring attention into your guests?

Prayer |

Dear Lord, give me opportunities to practice hospitality to those you have placed in my life. Give me the eyes to see the needs.  Amen.

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Gather with us by sharing your "Action Item" or "Prayer" by clicking on the Comment link at the top of the post.

This post is part of the 100 Happy Days Linkup

And, Honored to be selected as "host pick" from the 100 Happy Days Linkup -- "I loved the message here about focusing on what’s more important – people or presentation. And especially at this time of year, I want to take time to slow down and focus on ministering to people’s needs rather than just appealing to their eyes. This beautifully delivered message pointed me in just that direction with an ever so gentle and encouraging nudge!”