Hospitality is vital for community, but hospitality can be difficult to comprehend in our entertainment obsessed culture.
Think of a time when you experienced true hospitality? What was it like? What impact did each of the following essential elements have on shaping your experience?
1. A Warm Welcome Did you experience more than a social greeting? Was the host/hostess fully present to you?
2. Nurturing Needs Did your host/hostess recognize your needs? Offer a listening ear, a shoulder to lean on, or simply a quiet space to rest?
3. Breaking Bread Did you experience fellowship over a glass of water, a cup of coffee and a muffin, or a shared meal? This need not be extravagant because the focus is not on the food but rather on the fellowship at the table. As Chuck Swindoll paraphrases Jesus’ words to Martha, “Martha, Martha,- just fix a sandwich. Chips and dip would be great. We didn’t come for the meal- but for the fellowship.”
4. A Fond Farewell Did you feel that your time together was valued by your host/hostess? How did you feel when you parted company?
As we consider what true hospitality means in an entertainment focused culture, these four ingredients, a warm welcome, an awareness and nurturing of needs, a shared table, and a fond farewell combine to provide a recipe for hospitality and community.