He executes justice for the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets prisoners free, the LORD gives sight to the blind, he lifts up those who are bowed down, the LORD loves those who live justly. The LORD watches over the immigrant and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked. -Psalm 146:7-9

Friday, July 25, 2008

Hospitable God

"Christmas is the perfect time to reflect upon the fact that our Lord was received by His creatures in a most inauspicious manner. Despite the lack of hospitality extended upon His birth, He lived His life as hospitality incarnated. He came to turn strangers into friends, to reconcile us to Him, and to extend to us the promise of a wedding feast in heaven--a celebration to last forever. For these reasons, we are called to imitate our hospitable Lord and to use our homes as evangelistic outposts to further His gospel purposes.....
Hospitality fleshes out love in a uniquely personal and sacrificial way. Through the ministry of hospitality, we share our most prized possessions. We share our family, home, finances, food, privacy, and time. Indeed, we share our very lives. So, hospitality is always costly. Through the ministry of hospitality, we provide friendship, acceptance, fellowship, refreshment, comfort, and love in one of the richest and deepest ways possible for humans to understand. Unless we open the doors of our homes to one another, the reality of the local church as a close-knit family of loving brothers and sisters is only a theory. .”—Alexander Strauch, The Hospitality Commands

It's comments like the one above that encourages me to keep the doors of my home open. Yes, it's draining to have people in and out of your home all day, Yes, it's very nice at times to get away from it all...BUT, I want to be at a place where I am not complaining, whining, having a serious attitude at others because I feel as if I have (noticed I said I-clearly i think it's all about me) made some huge sacrifice in moving on the west side; Therefore, someone owes me a vacation.. I want to humbly accept those things as gifts, treasures, privileges from the LORD. The LORD has graciously called us to serve HIM in this neighborhood, I HAVE TO REMEMBER that I am here to reflect back to others the glory(goodness) HE reflects to me. How can they see that glory (goodness) if I keep my home, possessions, ect at a distance. I love the fact that I can watch people come into my home and take off their shoes and prop their feet up on the couch, they can come over to visit, and decided at the last minute "hey, we will spend the night"( without feeling rushed to leave) or after inviting them over for dinner, they decide to stay around longer and talk to wee hours in the night.. Relationships require some serious INVESTING-- though it's hard work...it's so worth it!!

Father, please forgive me for complaining about this life YOU have chosen for us to have. Please continue to give Kevin and I the grace to guard our family nights and date nights. As we continue to keep our family first, this opens up the doors for us to minister greatly to ALL those around us. Help me to not run away from it all but to eagerly, joyously, faithfully embrace our ministry. What an honor to serve you through my neighbors! Amen!!!