Can Hospitality Be Learned?

Posted by Ruth Beresford on

I am among a generation of parents that warned our young children of "stranger danger." I wanted them to learn risk assessment, not to be so trusting in case the person had harmful intentions. This could have set patterns of suspicion, always an unwelcoming attitude. Yet my children also saw me act in ways of care and welcome for the stranger. A man came to our door one night, asking to sleep on the porch of the church. My young children helped me get out our camping equipment to provide comfort and warmth for him, as he was unwilling to enter our home. We shared our food with Kevin and with others; holidays were always an occasion of generous hospitality. In the church, I hope all our children see adults act in ways of welcome, even to those who seem strangers coming through our church doors. My hope is that this will demonstrate a willingness to care, to invite the world in, rather than to shut the door to someone's difference.

Like generosity and faith, hospitality is both a spiritual gift and a discipline to practice. God gives us the heart to welcome, to care, to give, and to serve, and we develop and strengthen these practices by actively participating in a faith community. These seem inhospitable, even hostile, times and so the church is called to be BOLD in acts of hospitality, to welcome people as though we are welcoming Christ.

Stretch the muscle of invitation, inviting those who are not in worship or fellowship to join us at the table. Take the risk to invite them to come or come back to Christ Church. We are blessed by the creativity and generosity of our member, Bill Haley, and his team at Allied Pixel, who contributed our new welcome video. Click here to view this. You can send a link to our website (www.christchurchde.org) as a way to introduce someone to Christ Church. You can also take a music brochure with you and give it to someone you'd like to welcome to worship or a concert here. Or simply call them and invite them to join you. Such invitations are acts of hospitality, a lesson for our children and a gift to be shared.

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Lu Johnston Oct 12, 2017 1:14pm

Great video!