Photo: Rumman Amin
By Naomi Giles
I love being invited into the rush and tumble of a weekday family meal at someone’s home. It’s a sign of my friends being at peace with my presence in their everyday chaos. There’s no pretense, no posh table wear, no canapés – just an extra plate and space at the table to share whatever was planned for that night.
Hospitality is a gift we all have to offer. Some people thrive in flinging open their doors of their hearts and homes and welcoming people in, others find it a bit of a challenge. But if we take the pressure of performance or perfection out of the equation – surely each one of us can make space for another to join us. Even if we are not great cooks – we can still provide a space of hospitality by the way we encounter and include people wherever we are.
Hospitality is more about the heart, than a venue or the food on the plate. It’s a welcoming space that does not require a three course meal. Now don’t get me wrong, I love a good cook-up and sampling different foods – but that’s a treat and not something we need all the time.
What I need, is to know I am welcome. To be included at the table. To have people laugh at my stories and to laugh in turn at theirs. To share in the mundane and ridiculous. To hear the heart of our kids as they encounter the world and try and make sense of it. To play silly games. And to jump in and play a part in cooking or serving or cleaning up at the end. All this assures me that I have received the peace of that home and given something of myself in return.
Our Master also made it clear that hospitality should take us beyond our comfort zones. As people who have found our place at His table, we are tasked with opening space for others to join in there.
If we are willing to learn the rhythm of His humble hospitality, I wonder who we might meet… and how their story might become part of our story too.
Luke 14:12-14 (TPT) Then Jesus turned to his host and said, “When you throw a banquet, don’t just invite your friends, relatives, or rich neighbors—for it is likely they will return the favor. It is better to invite those who never get an invitation. Invite the poor to your banquet, along with the outcast, the handicapped, and the blind—those who could never repay you the favor. Then you will experience a great blessing in this life, and at the resurrection of the godly you will receive a full reward.”
Naomi Giles is the Ministry Team leader at NationsHeart in Canberra. Sign up to receive Naomi’s weekly blog Musings HERE.