There is so much to think about the topic of hospitality. As I meditate each morning, thanking God for another day, I often experience thoughts on hospitality. We all enjoy the eternal hospitality of a loving God. We learn about giving and receiving hospitality from Jesus. He shared meals with both sinners and the hated tax collectors and experienced great condemnation from the Pharisees. They dare not accept these outcasts as part of a legitimate community, lest they would have had to accept them in the Temple. Jesus defied their taunts, offering God’s hospitality to all.

I practice hospitality as much as possible. It is very easy for me to offer a place at my table for people and share a meal and glass of wine with my neighbors, many of whom live alone after the death of a spouse. What is difficult for me is accepting hospitality from others. A neighbor recently said he would cook a meal for my wife and me; he loves to cook. After much back and forth, I finally gave in and said “okay.” Is not this what Jesus taught?

This is a persona flaw that I look to God (and the examples set by Jesus) to overcome. We all have a lot to learn; perhaps this new year will show improvement. . . with God’s help.

© Russell Kendall Carter

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