February/March 2014 - Vol. 72

Do the doors of our heart say “welcome” or “go away”?
by Dave Quintana

Christian hospitality
I believe that Christian hospitality is one of the most under-utilized and keenly needed gifts in the Body of Christ. Hospitality is having room for people in your heart and in your home. It is saying, “I have room for you. You are welcome here. This is a safe and good place for you.” It requires us to be not preoccupied with our own concerns, it demands us to have a “vacancy” sign on the doorposts of our hearts and a welcome mat by every door and every phone. I’m reminded of the mat a dear brother of mine has by his office. It’s of the nice “welcome”, “bienvenidos”, “my house is your house”, flowers and doves variety … except that it says, “GO AWAY!!” I’m afraid that’s what people would often read between the lines if they studied my face or read my mind! Christian hospitality is a gift that needs cultivating. It is our Christian responsibility, and can have a powerful spiritual impact in a love-famished world.
Let brotherly love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. 
- Hebrews 13:1-2ESV translation

Poverty is not a poor host
Now for some really good news for all of us—you don’t have to be super wealthy or have it all together to be hospitable. Fortunately for people like you and me, even poverty is a good host. Let me say that again—our poverty is a good host. Our poverty can be a source of riches for others, our wounds can be a source of healing for others, our struggles can be a source of freedom for others, but only if we are willing to allow the Lord to use them, if we are willing to allow the Lord to transform them. I would rather serve people out of my strengths, out of the victories and triumphs in my life, but that is often not how the Lord chooses to work. At the end of the day, each of us is at best a wounded healer.
And he sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums. And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny. And he called his disciples to him and said to them, "Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on." 
- Mark 12:41-44 ESV translation

Freely we receive, generously we give
The Corinthians are a great example for us. They did not have much, in fact they had very little, but they gave generously from what they had. They knew what Thérèse of Lisieux knew, that only those that realize that they have received much can give much. We are called to be generous, with God and with others. We can be generous in the way we love and serve each other. We can learn to welcome others and listen to them as a form of spiritual hospitality. We need to remember that those who sow generously will reap abundantly.
And you Philippians yourselves know that in the beginning of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving, except you only. Even in Thessalonica you sent me help for my needs once and again. Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that increases to your credit.
- Philippians 4:15-17 ESV translation

Our  need for hospitality
For those of us who have been a part of a church or Christian group for a long time it is easy to forget what it was like when we first arrived. “Do I fit in here? Am I welcome here? Am I needed here?  Is there a contribution I can make here?” We want to make a difference. We want to be joined with others where we can both give and receive, where we are not a burden on others, where we are not perceived as “high maintenance”. We want to know that our presence makes a difference for people, that somehow people’s lives are better because we are a part of them. One of the things that makes elderly people want to wake up in the morning is knowing that someone is waiting for them. One of the things that helps us approach death with faith and confidence is that someone is waiting to see us on the other side. Let us host each other well, in small things and in significant things, remembering that we are all but passing guests.
I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers, because I hear of your love and of the faith that you have toward the Lord Jesus and for all the saints, and I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ. For I have derived much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you.
- Philemon 4-7 ESV translation

The benefits of hospitality
And let’s not forget that there is much to be gained in hosting well. Of course, we all know Bible stories of welcoming strangers and finding that you are hosting angels unaware or even holding conversation with Jesus himself. My dear Benedictine brothers’ welcome packet informs guests that their rule commits them “to refresh you and send you back in peace”. Let’s not forget what a blessing guests can bring us.  Can we not learn to receive each person the Lord brings to us as a gift of God? Each of them a divine messenger in some way? Each of them a divine appointment in some way? Each of them a divine blessing in some way? After all, it is more blessed to give than to receive.
Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. 
- 1 Peter 4:9 ESV translation

Dave Quintana is an elder of the Servants of the Word, a missionary brotherhood of men living single for the Lord. He is also a regional coordinator for the Sword of the Spirit in Europe and the Middle East. He currently lives in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Daily Meds from the Q Source
by Dave Quintana, published byTabor House, 2012

Dave Quintana's daily meditations and Bible readings to stir our minds and kindle our hearts in 2013. He explores themes important to all who search to be wise men and women in the Lord, and provides a wealth of personal experience from living and ministering in Central America, Asia, Europe, and the United States. Expect to be challenged. Expect to be inspired. Expect to meet the living and loving God. .

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