In 3 John this week (Advanced Greek Grammar class) we'll be diving into such topics as "What is the church?" and "The Importance of Hospitality." Here are the key New Testament texts that deal with the latter topic:
|3 John 5.|
|1 Pet. 4:9. |
I might render these verses as follows:
My dear friend, you are so faithful in the work you do for your fellow Christians, even when they are strangers.
Share what you have with God's people who are in need. Always be eager to open your homes to strangers.
Remember to welcome strangers into your homes. There were some who did this and entertained angels without realizing it!
Open your homes to each other without complaining.
I sat on the front porch last night with the 7 retreatants I'm hosting this weekend and we talked about any number of topics, from fishing to school to being missionaries for Jesus. I'm overwhelmed by the sweetness of it. Because it reminds me, in tangible ways, how God nurtures and protects and gives grace. As I wrote in The Gospel of Hospitality, "Hospitality is not easy. It goes against the grain of our contemporary values. It involves hard work, planning, and efficiency. But it will not occur in our lives until we make it a deliberate priority. Like any other quality, we must develop a generous spirit."
I offer my apologies for all the times when I could have opened my home to strangers and didn't. I know better now. There is one thing your fellow Christians cannot do, one thing they can never do. Only you can open your home to strangers.