Hospitality is ordinary, normal work that has a transformative effect. God planned this ministry for His church, this is inspiration to help you entertain.
Real Life Inspiration for the Tedious Work of Hospitality
I set my teacup down with a light thud, my chest heavy with the weight of the emotional and spiritual battles we had just fought from the kitchen table. Broken hearts were laid bare, there was something unsettling yet beautiful in it all. I walked to the bedroom with the intention of putting my exhausted emotions to sleep for the night. Sadness clung to me like a wet bathing suit. I had just seen how evil and awful this world can be written across the face of my friend.
Pain sat in my heart – questions about the future and confusion over the past. What is the Lord doing in this? I slipped under the covers and turned to the Scriptures before drifting off.
Psalm 5:7 “But I, through the abundance of your steadfast love, will enter your house.”
The words of John 14:6 came rushing back to me, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me”. Christ is the door. Christ is the steadfast love of God made flesh. I experience the ultimate hospitality of God through Christ. I will enter His house.
And because of Christ, His house is my house. I am His child (Ephesians 1:5). He is my Father (Galatians 4:6).
I come in, slink into an oversized armchair, exhausted from the fight. I am welcomed, I am wanted, I am loved. I do not deserve to be here, this place is not mine by right and yet it is mine nonetheless. I have been the evil one this Psalm speaks of earlier. I have lied, been deceitful, boastful, and bloodthirsty. But I, through the abundance of God’s steadfast love, will enter His house.
He has decided to love me, not because I am worthy but because He is gracious. I do not merit His favor but because of this, I appreciate it all the more. As I enter the Father’s house, I unload the weight of the world and collapse in rest. I have come to Him and found lasting peace and rest (Matthew 11:28-30).
And He is not unaware of my suffering. He is not distant. It is no surprise to Him that I am emotionally exhausted from the weight of another encounter with sin and Satan.
And then the question: does my hospitality display this? Do those who cross the threshold of my home feel God’s steadfast love extended to them through my welcome?
Related: Why Community Matters In Your Life
Hospitality as Important Ministry
My mind goes back to my daughter opening the door tonight. She flung it open wide to our guests as they brushed off the cold, hung up coats, and settled in for the evening. They entered our home to share dinner and deserts. But this was no shallow evening of entertaining, this was real, deep, gospel-driven, gospel-motivated hospitality for the glory of God. The free, unmerited grace of God was our weapon, and the spiritual forces felt tangible in my friend’s story of pain.
This is not the first time I have encountered this. Real hospitality in my life has meant that I have wept with grieving mothers, comforted crying newborns, shared the gospel. I have taught people how to cook, how to read the Bible, and how to embark on the marriage journey.
I have spoken gospel truth to women whose hearts have battled fear and shame. I have prayed with those who sorrow feels almost physically present. I have rejoiced with friends as they have overcome sin and beaten illnesses.
I have thrown surprise birthday parties and hosted more game nights than I can count. I have played hide and seek and “big giant” and decorated cookies with preschoolers.
I have hosted for hours, days, and even months at a time. I have seen pain healed and God fulfill His promise to put the lonely in families.
I have called sinners to repentance and welcomed back those who had gone astray. I have laughed until I couldn’t breathe and wept bitterly alongside those the Lord has brought to me.
I have been poured out and it hasn’t always felt worthwhile. The exhaustion has been real and difficult. There have been many evenings I have gone to bed with sore feet revealing how many hours I was on them and questioned if it is all worth it and why I even bother.
And then, in the stillness of the night, with Scripture as my aid, the Lord reminds my heart of how he has chosen to work through this ordinary, daily ministry. It has been hard but it has also been beautiful. And in it, I have been given a tiny glimpse of the Father’s welcome.
Related: Hospitality is about Connection, Not Perfection
It Doesn’t Take a Perfect Host
I am a broken woman who worries when I should have faith and who fears what others will think of me. I speak too quickly and listen too slowly. I respond in anger far more often than I would like to admit and I work for my own glory. And yet, God has freely given me the beautiful opportunity to sit back and watch His work in the world without ever leaving my kitchen and living room. Daily I am reminded of the grace of Christ in the faces of those God has placed in my home.
A life of hospitality is beautiful and big and full of purpose. God has chosen to use this ordinary, daily work for the benefit of His church for our entire history.
This is the life He has called us to. This is the life we are supposed to lay down for His glory.
As I read and reread the words of Psalm 5:7 – “But I, through the abundance of your steadfast love, will enter your house.” tears fell. Exhaustion present in my bones but a distant reality from my heart and I am reminded again: hospitality is about showing the world the character of the God we serve!
Hospitality is a physical picture of the welcome we have received. It isn’t just a nice way to spend an evening or a great way to test a new recipe. It is the transformative power of real relationships that are empowered, emboldened, and enabled by the grace and mercy of Christ. Through it we appreciate more the beauty of the steadfast love we have received, and we put that love on display!
And sometimes God interrupts our ordinary days and mediocre meals with His glory, power, and healing. When He does, we stand back in amazement. His ways surely are higher than ours!
Related: The Embarrassing Story that Taught Me 4 Valuable Lessons on Hospitality
Looking for ways to get started with a hospitality ministry? Grab your FREE guide 15 Gatherings You Can Plan in 15 Minutes here!