We get a chance to love the stranger as a beautiful gospel picture to the lost world. Let us, “Show hospitality to one another without grumbling” (1 Peter 4:9), let us reach out most specifically to those who are the least known, and let us seek to be hospitable using all resources at our disposal.
Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.
I have a confession: I am a hopeless extrovert. I love being around people. Put me in a good conversation or in a group and I’m immediately rejuvenated. Having people in my house is better than shot of espresso. In God’s mercy, I married an introvert. She loves people, but her battery gets depleted in a group setting. She charges up to have people over and needs a rest when they leave. I’d say these two types probably describe a large number of people. Neither are superior and both have their shortcomings, but both types are called to, “seek to show hospitality.” One thing I’ve come to learn over the years is that hospitality is about more than food.
When I think of hospitality, I immediately think of having someone over to my house, feeding them a meal, and spending the evening in good conversation. And while that has biblical precedence (think Abraham and the angel of the LORD in Genesis 18), I think we can miss the heart behind hospitality when we simplify it to a meal in our homes. Here’s what I mean: The word we translate as “hospitality” is literally “philoxenia”. Do any of those parts look familiar? It literally means “love” (philo) for the “stranger” (xenia). So when we are commanded to show hospitality, we are commanded to show love for the stranger.
How does this change the way we should think of hospitality? For one, this should sharpen the focus of whom hospitality is primarily directed toward.