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2007 February 11 » Philoxenos

Philoxenos

lost art of Christian hospitality

11th February 2007

lost art of Christian hospitality

This is a rather all-encompassing post title and I’m sure that I’m not going to cover every aspect of the lost art of Christian hospitality in one post, but I want to begin addressing it, considering my husband kindly bought me this great domain name for our anniversary :)

For those of you who might not have read one of my first posts, Philoxenos, the name of my blog, means friends-strangers. Philoxenos is the word used in the New Testament for hospitality. I have quite a passion for hospitality (and evangelism, which I believe are actually quite inter-related). Not in a Martha Stewart sense, but in a real life, opening my home, kind of way. I am not a perfectionist - my kitchen floor has crumbs, there is a growing layer of dust on the top of my piano, there is soap scum in the shower. However I believe that we have a mandate - yes, a mandate - in Scripture to practice hospitality.

Starting on Wednesday I am going to be teaching for two weeks to the ladies in our young mothers group at church about hospitality. They think that they’re getting some lessons on how to cut their grocery spending and of course they will. But the underlying reason for me teaching this is so that they can learn some skills in managing their spending so that they feel the freedom to practice hospitality in the way that I believe God wants us to without feeling the constraints of finances.

As I open up the topic on my blog, I’d like to ask the question: what stops us from being hospitable? What stops us from having people over for lunch after church? Or asking a mum down the street over for coffee? Is it because things aren’t tidy enough? Is it because we don’t have fresh baked cookies to offer or our coffee is instant instead of freshly ground?  Is it because it’s just all too much work?

As I think through some of these issues myself I’ll write about them. I’ve got so many thoughts reeling around in my head and I’m not even sure where to start. I don’t normally like to write posts that are so all over the place, but I think I’ll be using this as a processsing place for all my thoughts.  In the meantime I’m interested to hear what you have to say. And to finish with a bit of a cliche, what would Jesus do? Would he let a little bit of dust stop him from sharing the Good News? Because essentially, that’s what we’re doing. As Christians we are called to be Jesus to those he came to save. If we’re not willing to be real with people and show them every part of us, then will they really know?

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