“Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.”
(1 Peter 4:9 ESV)
In our present age, it seems that hospitality has become a lost art. Perhaps this isn’t true of all cultures. But I believe it’s largely true here in the United States.
I remember the stories, told by older generations, of their visits to neighbors and family. These visits were often unannounced. Yet guests were always welcomed warmly. They’ve also told me of their preparations for company. Knowing that someone might stop by for a visit, they always made sure they had something ready to share.
This doesn’t happen anymore. We do welcome guests from time to time. But it’s more of a rarity these days.
Guests, today, are seen as an intrusion. They’re seen as an inconvenience. Unless we’re out and about, we prefer to remain in the privacy of our home.
This is especially true in the case of unannounced guests. We consider it rude of people to show up without making prior arrangements. It’s looked upon not as a blessing, but as an interruption.
As a pastor, I’ve been welcomed into many homes and people have been very gracious to me. And I’ve enjoyed these visits. However, I’ve experienced a level of hospitality that I find convicting as I’ve traveled overseas.
I’ve been welcomed by people who are very poor and who had little to share. Yet, despite their poverty, they’ve shared their best with me. And it wasn’t done in a grudging manner. It was sincere on their part. They felt honored to have a guest in their home.
I confess that I struggle in this area. I’m not as hospitable as I ought to be. I don’t often welcome people into my home. And when I have hosted people in my home, even if I put on a good display, I’m not as gracious as I should be. I sometimes grumble about the inconvenience. For this I need the Lord’s forgiveness.
Let us prayerfully consider how we can display hospitality to one another. Let us prayerfully consider how we can experience this fellowship with one another. As we see in the above passage, this is something we are called to do.