I just wanted to share a brief recap of a Bible lesson from last year. Our text and title was taken from Romans 12:13; “Given to Hospitality”. In a world that is so cold, harsh, and unkind; certainly within the church people need to find warmth, love, and acceptance. Smith’s Bible Dictionary states that hospitality was regarded by most nations of the ancient world as one of the chief virtues.
We are blessed to live in an area where, for the most part, people are still very hospitable. Unfortunately it’s not that way everywhere. I noticed on a recent trip while riding on public transportation, mixing in large crowds, standing in line, or sitting beside strangers for extended periods of time that people can be quite unsociable and oft times just plain rude. How refreshing it was to finally sit beside an older gentleman and strike up a meaningful conversation and realize again that there are yet some friendly people in this world.
With that said, there’s a place where folks should be made to feel welcome, loved, and accepted, and that place is the church. Keep in mind, however, that the church is not merely confined to a building. The church is those who have experienced Bible salvation. They have been born again and found to be new creatures in Christ Jesus. This, by the way, is what causes us to be able to display true hospitality.
What is hospitality? A dictionary definition is this:
1. the friendly reception and treatment of guests or strangers.
2.the quality or disposition of receiving and treating guests and strangers in a warm, friendly, generous way.
Some synonyms of the word are friendliness, generosity, reception, warmth, and cordiality.
Hospitality is an important characteristic that should be innate within the church. It was one of the qualifications for a bishop. He is to be a “lover of hospitality” (Titus 1:8). He is also to be “given to hospitality” (1Tim. 3:2). It was also a qualifying factor in whether a widow was to be eligible for assistance from the church in time of need. She needed to be a woman of hospitality (1 Tim. 5:10).
Hospitality is a trait that when received, you appreciate so therefore we should administer it to others. It is also something you recognize when you receive it as well as when you do not. A lot of negatives in an individual or a group of individuals can be overshadowed by the fact that they were nice, kind, and polite. May we always be “given to hospitality.”
The phrase “given to hospitality” would actually mean to pursue hospitality. Not only embracing those that offer, but seeking opportunities to exercise it. It’s to go out of one’s way to display it.
We want to examine our own selves and make certain that we are “given to hospitality.” In other words; that’s our inclination to be warm, kind, and friendly. On good days as well as on the not so good days.
We also want to extend an invitation to experience this warmth in such a cold world. Join us Sunday at 2:00 for Word and Worship. We are located at 15540 Lee Highway in between Economy Inn and Skyland Coin and Jewelry. Parking is available on the right side of the church and also in the parking lot of Skyland Coin and Jewelry. We look forward to seeing you!