Simple Hospitality……It really can be simple!!
I read the book written by Jane Jarrell, titled,“Simple Hospitality”. I thought I might share a little of it with you. I really enjoyed reading this one thing that she wrote about using the letters that spell out the word “hospitality”.
H–Hospital for the Soul
Why does one go to the hospital? To visit, maybe, or to welcome a new person into the world. But oftentimes it’s because our bodies are broken. A hospital can be a place to go for healing and repair.
So the word hospitable is taken from the word hospital, which means a charitable institution, a repair shop, a hospice, or a shelter. Hospitality is a shelter for the soul, healing for the spirit. So when we open our home in the true spirit of hospitality or when we bring our gifts of hospitality outside of our homes, we are offering hospitality!!
The Bible states it this way: Romans 12:9-13, “Let love be without dissimulation…..v10, Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;. .vs12, Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; vs13, Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.”
So real Christian hospitality isn’t an option, it is what God commands.
Some may think focusing on hospitality is frivolous or a waste of time. But in reality it is nothing less than obeying God’s clear command in Scripture. Hospitality was not Martha Stewart’s invention; it was God’s!! Romans 12 paints an incredible picture of what it means to truly give our lives to God……In these selfless acts, we serve not only those in need but Christ Himself. Hospitality is obeying God by cheerfully serving others.
If we don’t approach hospitality simply, most of us won’t do it at all. When we exchange the harried hoopla for the heartfelt, everyone is blessed. Can we be comfortable when everything is not perfect, or do we always need to put on a show for people? As one lady states “I don’t want to buy your house, I just want to visit.” Simplicity brings us closer to having authentic relationships. Our focus is on our guests, not on the “stuff” that surrounds us.
Hospitality involves prayer. Ask God to show you who and how to show hospitality to. God will show you the when, the how, and whatthat someone might need. I may not know what a person needs at the time but God knows!! You should always ask God for His blessing on the gathering you are about to have with someone, no matter how small or large the number will be.
Intimacy is sharing who you are and what you are to others. You need this type of relationship with your husband, your family and your friends, but nurturing genuine intimacy takes time and effort.
Cell phones and emails are nice, but we need to take time to sit quietly with a friend sometimes. You never know where they are at or what they may need.. Time plus realness plus genuine caring equals intimacy.
Are you ready to take your kindness on the road? Do you have a plan or list of ideas that will work in a hurry?
Keep a few recipes with the ingredients on hand so that you can prepare a meal or a welcoming treat for someone in need.
There is something extra-special about busy people who take the time to reach out and help others.
A–Acknowledge and Appreciate
We all have our own gifts, but what about those who are known for the hospitality? They also need a “dose” of hospitality sometimes. They need to be acknowledged for their kindness, appreciated for the efforts and recipients of the hospitality of others.
Most of us are “takers’ by nature and unless we make a conscious effort, we’ll always take and forget to give back. Those who are more “givers”, either by nature or intent, often get taken for granted.
In our busy lives, gratitude is often felt yet not expressed.
Hospitality is a lifestyle, a ministry lifestyle. God weaves it into our hearts. We all need each other to make the body of Christ its best. You are making the commitment to a lifestyle of opening up your heart to others on a regular basis.
You will need to start small, perhaps by committing to one act of hospitality each month. Gradually you will see how easy it is and move towards once a week and before you know it you will be asking God to show you someone in need every day!!
Take time to ask God to show you how He might use you today, this week or this month. You are allowing God to work through you and when He is working, we cannot fail.
When looking for ideas for hospitality, scan your favorite magazines, talk with your friends or keep a simple notebook or card file with your favorite recipes, holiday decorating ideas, party themes, or anything else that spurs your hospitality thinking. Just keep it simple, and honest. Let God’s love show through you and that will be all that you need to make any time a good time to visit.
We are all short on time for the things that we want to do or need to do. That is why hospitality is such a valuable gift to others. It means we gave them our most precious resource: our time.
Think of things to do for hospitality for others when you are doing for your family. Double a casserole for dinner one night and freeze the one for a family that may be in need, or a mother who may be sick at the time.
When baking cookies for your family, bake a few more to brighten someone’s day. Out buying groceries? Cut back on one thing or two for snacks and make up a meal for a new mom.
If your time is limited, begin your quest to hospitality with small things and think about other ways that you will want to show it when your time allows for it.
To show hospitality to others, you must first love yourself so that you are capable of loving others. This means taking care of yourself so that you are able to take care of others. When we’ve taken the time to put our own hearts in order, we are freed to reach beyond ourselves to meet others where they are.