A few years ago, on the spur of the moment, a friend invited me to her home for lunch. She had the day off unexpectedly and as she prepared her lunch, she wanted someone with whom to share the meal. A quick phone call and two of us set aside our plans for an even better plan.
We arrived at noon to a table set with chicken salad, pears and cottage cheese, ripe red tomato wedges, and tapioca pudding with raspberries. A delicious simple meal, made excellent by laughter and friendship.
We used every day dishes and laughed that she’d put off her cleaning to prepare lunch – so once we left, she had to dive in to do all the cleaning that we didn’t notice needed to be done.
While we often think of daintily set tables with sparkling china, silver, and crystal as the criteria for hospitality, it was my friend’s joy in serving and being with us that made everything sparkle. Several times she remarked how glad she was that we could come. I’m not sure I’ve ever felt so welcomed, so wanted.
I still smile as I think of her enthusiasm of hospitality.
Through her example, God reminded me of what hospitality is –
- Joy in serving
- Opening your home
- Sharing together your joys and sorrows, your life
- Thanking God for His blessings
- Being His blessing to others
- Forgetting yourself and glorifying Him
and what it is not –
- Having a perfectly clean home
- Or perfectly decorated home
- Planning for weeks
- Preparing elaborate dishes
- Pulling out your best china
- Stressing over the details
- Wearing a frown
The joy on my friend’s face will remain a very special memory as well as a reminder that God loves when we offer hospitality. I challenge you to invite some friends to lunch, including your pastor’s wife!
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