In lieu of a 5MM on July 25, because of a longer sermon, it is being posted here.
This week’s PC 5MM is Hospitality.
Φιλόξενος in the Greek (φιλό/ξενος- to love strangers)
Oxford defines the word as, “The friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors and strangers.”
Once it was seen as a common place duty amongst the ancients. Today hedonistic individualism and isolationism has almost driven it out of our vocabulary.
Yet for the Christian, this is what we are commanded:
Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. (1 Pet 4:9, c.f. 1 Ti 3:2; Tit 1:8)
We might not all have the gift of hospitality but we can be hospitable and this demonstrates our love (as we entertain angels unawares), changing someone’s flat tire, helping someone cross the street, giving those who’ve lost their home in a fire use of your trailer. Hospitality is a powerful witness in deed of our faith, and an opportunity to verbally share our faith.
Hospitality isn’t just something we show to unbelievers, but amongst believers too.
I remember once in one of my churches, which met in a physically small space, one family who sat in the back pew never in twelve years having said hello to the family who sat in the front pew! This should not be! Talk to people at church, welcome newcomers—show hospitability. Invite people over for a meal, get together, do things together (like Jesus did)—fellowship! It builds trust, is edifying and enables us to accomplish our mission. If we can’t love our brother, how will we be ready and able to love our neighbour or stranger?
There are lonely people, even Christians, who need the love God has shown us, so pretty please, show hospitality!
Author: Chris Crocker
Pastor, historian and beekeeper.