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Daily Devotionals

Day 3 – Issue 20

todayMay 1, 2015 9

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Be Still Know

1 Peter 4:9 NLT

‘Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay.’

Hospitality is central to Christian understanding. Jesus welcomed all, the youngest to the oldest, the sick and dispossessed, and invites us to live lives of hospitality directed to the needs of others. The art of hospitality is not easily learned, and is always born in the heart from a deep sense of love and reverence for humanity.

As you might imagine, I have spent many hours in hospitals; first with Katey, then with Mum, and now with Jayne as she negotiates her own health issues. Whenever I know a hospital visit looms, my heart sinks and I feel my defence mechanisms switch on. This is largely, I believe, because hospitals have become focused upon the objective outcome of providing health and lost sight of the fact that we are healthiest when we are happiest. And happiness requires more than simply a medical intervention.

Often the chaos of clogged corridors, to the forced greeting of the receptionist and the lack of available seating in waiting areas leads to increased stress, and it takes skill to remain centred and at peace.

I use hospitals as an example since they derive their name from the same root as the word “hospitality”. There is a need for every aspect of society to recover a fresh understanding of how to greet each other. Failure so to do can only mean we commodify and objectify humanity. We become no more than our GDP or our BMI. Both offer a description about us, yet offer little insight into who we are.

A church struggling to make sense in a fast-changing world might well consider becoming a hospitality resource within its local community, offering welcome, friendship, support and encouragement to all comers, for we can never know when we’re entertaining angels unawares (see Hebrews 13:2). This is an environment into which the lonely and confused can make their way and find a welcome simply as they choose to show up. What’s more, with an increasingly ageing population moving into retirement or part-time employment, we have the people resource readily available, a resource that can offer authentic hospitality.

QUESTION: Do you find yourself in need of hospitality?

PRAYER: Lord God, you welcomed me in and gave me a new home when I was lost, and you fed me when I was hungry. Help me share that grace with others. 

Written by: Miriam Emenike

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