2014 - Vol. 72
the doors of our heart say “welcome” or “go away”?
by Dave Quintana
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.
love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby
some have entertained angels unawares.
- Hebrews 13:1-2ESV
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
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.
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.
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.
to one another without grumbling.
- 1 Peter 4:9 ESV
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. .