As we read Scripture we are constantly met by a God that actually wants to be known. For example, in the Old Testament we read about God walking in the garden with Adam and Eve, and about God setting up a temple where people could come to know and worship him. In the New Testament we read about Jesus sitting by a well chatting to a person who has come to get water, or inviting himself to dinner at Zacchaeus’s house, or walking with others on the road to Emmaus.
Again and again, God makes space for people and opens his heart to them, and this is in in order that they (and we) might know him, be saved and flourish. God shows 'hospitality' to people. We may think ‘hospitality’ means inviting someone into our home for a master chef meal, but hospitality really means opening up ourselves to others. Making a space in our lives for someone else. Listening. Talking. Helping where we can.
In our busy world, with our heads full of the day’s tasks, it’s easy to just focus on ourselves.
So we encourage everyone in our church to identify three people to show hospitality to. This is probably someone you already know: a neighbour? A colleague? A fellow student at school or uni? A family member? Or soemone less well known to you- someone who could use a friend? Someone struggling with bags in the supermarket carpark?
Simply make space for them in your day – strike up a conversation. Or make a call. Or drop in. Listen. Have patience, curiosity and empathy …maybe you can help them somehow. Maybe you’ll do a good deed for them. Maybe they’ll do a good deed for you. Maybe you’ll become friends. (And sure, invite them over for a meal if that’s appropriate.)
We were created for community. For relationships, for friendships. During COVID our relational circles have shrunk. Let’s each rebuild our community and help everyone to flourish.