This article explains that hospitality provides to a broken world an open window of God’s hospitality toward us. Very often people hear the gospel by seeing it in action in Christians, particularly in their homes. In the early church the home was a crucial place for the spread of the faith, and it remains an important setting for building relationships. The church in the Western world needs to rediscover the value of hospitality for the visualizing of the call of the gospel. The article provides some helpful hints for hosting neighbours.
This article shows how hospitality was a way of life in early Christian households. Hospitality is the gospel in action, a way of showing that God has received us in his grace. The article considers the various biblical commands to practice hospitality, pointing out that each command is set in the context of love. It goes on to focus on hospitality as an important qualification for the office of elder, and is of great value in shepherding the flock.
Why should Christians show hospitality? This article explores this question by showing that the story of the Bible is the story of God’s hospitality toward us. It speaks of a table of fellowship once given, lost, then restored, to God’s people. Food and the table are a unifying theme in Scripture, and this article gives a sense of how this is so, and its relevance for how we may show practical grace in hospitality.
Beginning with the biblical witness, Cathy Ross explores the character of hospitality. She shows how it can function as a powerful metaphor for mission. We are encouraged and enabled to reflect on the importance of shared meals and being at the margins, the need to see and respect the guest and stranger as other.