Hospitality- receiving or treating guests and strangers warmly and generously
I read a book recently that had a chapter on hospitality and it said that we need to take the greeting of our guests seriously. It said "The threshold is the place or point of beginning" and that "A home is someone's intimate space, and it's just natural to feel like you don't belong."
"Making people feel as if they do belong within the first few seconds is critical."
I'd never really thought about that before but I sure can attest to the need for it, having been invited to someone's home and then having not felt at all welcome. Have you ever been in that situation? It is oh-so-awkward. (and I'm sure, unintentional)
Jesus was in this situation once only it wasn't unintentional. He was invited to Simon's house and Simon neglected to show Jesus the common courtesy due a guest in that culture.
He didn't offer Him water to wash the dust (and possibly dung) off his feet from the unpaved roads.
He didn't give him a proper greeting, which was a kiss. (I love that about the Latin culture around us)
Nor did he give Jesus anointing oil for his head. (which I'm guessing was probably a must in a deodorant-less society) ; )
Hachnasat Orchim is a Hebrew concept/custom for "welcoming guests like welcoming God."
How beautiful is that?
Here are some hospitality tips that I enjoyed reading:
Open the door for your guests before they arrive. -Don't leave them waiting uncomfortably at your door for you to answer it.
Walk them all the way in and introduce them to people. -Make sure they are involved in conversations with others before leaving them.
"Pepper people with questions about their life."
Use place cards to show people they were thought of before they arrived.
"Like Peter, people don't feel like they deserve extravagant blessing. This is the power of your home. Every time you stoop down to wash the feet of the wandering souls who enter your home, it reflects the central story of God's love for people." (I love that)
"He welcomed us to his home and showed us generous hospitality for three days." Acts 28:7
"Gaius, whose hospitality I and the whole church here enjoy, sends you his greetings." Rom. 16:23
"Share with the Lord's people who are in need. Practice hospitality." Rom. 12:13
"Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it." Heb. 13:2
"We ought therefore to show hospitality to such people so that we may work together for the truth." 3 John 8
Hoping to be more hospitable in the future,
(tips and quotes taken from Hugh Halter's book: Flesh)