Ancient Solutions for Modern Problems

“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”

Matthew 12:28-30

In these verses, Jesus invites us to a life of peace and rest, contrasting sharply with the frantic pace of our culture. He points us to ancient practices that can counteract the burdens of modern life—practices that lead to spiritual growth and holistic well-being.

Rediscovering Hospitality

Hospitality is not just about throwing parties, though that can be part of it. True hospitality is the antidote to loneliness and isolation. Imagine your neighbor, whom you barely know, comes over and helps himself to food in your refrigerator. It feels intrusive, right? Now, imagine your close friend or family member doing the same—it’s perfectly acceptable because they have what Dr. Will Miller calls “Refrigerator Rights.”

This concept isn’t just about food; it’s about relational intimacy and trust. Over time, shared experiences and mutual support build a sense of belonging and community.

Hospitality: A Biblical Perspective

Hospitality is deeply rooted in Scripture. God commands the Israelites to treat foreigners with love and kindness, as seen in Leviticus 19:33-34. The Greek word for hospitality, Philoxenia, means “love of strangers,” which aligns with Jesus’ teachings to love our neighbors as ourselves.

The writer of Hebrews encourages us to continue showing hospitality, reminding us that some have entertained angels without knowing it (Hebrews 13:1-2). Hospitality, therefore, is an open-hearted posture toward others, characterized by intentional, generous sharing.

Practical Hospitality in Our Modern Era

What does an open-hearted posture look like today? It can be as simple as engaging with your neighbors—praying for them, listening to their stories, sharing meals, and serving together. It’s about being present and available, even in the busy seasons of life.

For example, during a period of community prayer, a woman named Linda began by praying for her personal needs but soon shifted to praying for her co-workers and strangers she met. This openness led her to actively seek out ways to help those in need, embodying the spirit of hospitality.

The Transformative Power of Hospitality

Hospitality is more than a kind gesture; it’s a transformative practice that reflects God’s love. When we welcome others, we not only meet their needs but also honor God. Jesus emphasized this in Matthew 25:35-40, illustrating that when we care for others, we are serving Him.

Living a Life of Generous Hospitality

The story of Abraham in Genesis 18 exemplifies generous hospitality. He didn’t hold back his best resources but eagerly shared them with strangers, who turned out to be divine visitors. Similarly, Romans 12:13 urges us to be ready to help and eager to practice hospitality.

Embracing Hospitality in Everyday Life

Hospitality doesn’t require wealth; it requires a willing heart. Like the boy who shared his loaves and fishes, our small acts of generosity can have a significant impact when offered in Jesus’ name.

Jesus himself modeled hospitality by dining with tax collectors and sinners, offering love and acceptance to those society shunned. This openness transformed lives and built a community of faith.

Building Community Through Hospitality

Think about your neighbors or colleagues. Do they need friends, a listening ear, or a supportive community? Our church is an ideal place to start. By opening our hearts and homes, we can build meaningful relationships that reflect God’s love and foster a sense of belonging.

In conclusion, hospitality is an ancient practice with timeless relevance. It’s about being open-hearted, intentional, and generous, sharing what we have to offer. As we embrace hospitality, we not only address the loneliness and isolation in our world but also reflect the heart of God to those around us. Join us in this series, get involved in a group, and let’s grow together in practicing true hospitality.

Related Message

Speaker: John Burke