The Danger of Hospitality [mandy]

I enjoy cooking. I enjoy entertaining. In fact, my husband and I are hosting three couples in our small apartment tonight. No problem: the floors are squeaky clean, the food is prepped, the dog promised to be on her best behavior. The only problem is that I invited these couples. (Well, all right, a formal invitation is not really a problem.)

But I am supposed to host strangers, too. The writer of Hebrews said: “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.” Hebrews 13:2 (NASB). Part of the problem of this is what the culture tells me: Don’t talk to strangers, don’t let them into your house, and for heavens’ sake, don’t let them know too much about you. This is common sense. No one wants to be kidnapped; no one wants a stranger to slink back to the house they’ve just had dinner in under the cover of darkness and pilfer the big-screen TV. There’s a risk in entertaining possible angels. So how do I show hospitality to people who could be a danger, a damage to my family and me?

I guess job number one is to understand what hospitality means. The dictionary defines it as:

1. the friendly reception and treatment of guests or strangers.

2. the quality or disposition of receiving and treating guests and strangers in a warm, friendly, generous way.
I think you can show someone, a stranger, a guest, bad guy or not, the love of Jesus Christ by treating him or her with care, concern, friendliness, and love. That doesn’t necessarily mean allowing a person into our apartment while I’m alone or someone who gives off a bad vibe admittance into my family’s safety-zone.
But I want to show love to the least of these, because Jesus said it’s pretty much having done it for Him. This takes practice, willingness, and an eye for opportunity.
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