Romans 12:13b – Practice Hospitality
Two words, big meaning! Recently, David and I had a conversation about how, over time, we had stopped hosting people in our home as often as we once had done. We both agreed it can be hard to go the extra mile when you feel as if you have already added several extra miles during the day. We spoke about all the give and take of daily life out in the places beyond our house and how home is a refuge – our safe place to be quiet, tired, zoned-out or whatever the word to describe “done” for the day! But God...
Isn’t that the way it goes – “but God”- comes into the heart through His word. “Practice hospitality” (Romans 12:13b) is in the Bible just as “You shall not murder” (Deut. 5:17). Then, Monday night at Bible study, “Practice hospitality” was brought up! God is faithful to enter into conversations, excuses, justifications, or rationalizations when He hears/sees a truth being mishandled.
At Bible study, we were reminded of the joys of the table/ a meal shared. Deuteronomy 12 uses the word eat or a form of the word seventeen times. One of the truths taught - “a meal is more than eating” - stuck with me. Meals create memories. Children and guests can form memories of and at my table. But, I must be intentional about having children and guests at my table; they don’t just wander there alone accidentally! Jesus spent much time at tables with others. Sharing a meal with others was important to His ministry, so much so that He had a meal with His closest followers in His final hours.
Meals are not as much about the food, although food is the draw, but about the experience – the conversation, the relationships, the heart. Hospitality in all its forms comes down to the treatment and care of others. God feels strongly enough to say “practice hospitality” directly behind the words in Romans 12:13a “Share with God’s people who are in need.” (Notice the word hospital in the word hospitality.) Meeting the needs of/caring for others is priority to God whether it is a meal, time, attention, or offering an evening and chair in my home as an extension of God’s heart. It is a true honor to be invited into one’s home and seated at their table!
Father, thank You for practicing hospitality towards me. It is humbling to know what all You did to prepare my seat at Your table. Jesus, You fulfilled the preparations for me to have a placecard with my name and a placesetting set for me to enjoy all the benefits of Your table. My prayer is that I will be faithful to give others a seat of honor, refreshment, and view of You at my table. May the Bread of Life and Living Water be served daily from my home and heart. Amen