Our dear friend, a single elderly woman that attends our church and holds a woman's
Bible study during the day in her home.
We loving call her "Grandma Ruth" :)
Hospitality is our topic this month for our Ladies Bible Study. I have a few excellent books on hospitality...
The Hospitality Commands by Alexander Strauch
Open Heart, Open Home by Karen Mains
The Hidden Art of Homemaking by Edith Schaeffer
I'd like to share a small excerpt from one:
"An elderly single woman, who now attends our church, related an experience to me that dramatically illustrates why we need fresh teaching on the subject of Christian hospitality. At one time in her life, she had to travel more than an hour by bus every Sunday to attend a small suburban church. Each week after the Sunday morning service, she would eat alone in a restaurant and then spend the entire afternoon in a part or library so that she could attend the evening service. She did this for four years. What left her with sour memories of this church was the fact that in four years no one invited her home to eat a Sunday afternoon meal or to rest. It wasn't until she announced she was leaving that an elderly woman in the church invited her home for a meal on her final Sunday." - "The Hospitality Commands" by Alexander Strauch
I have the feeling that there are many people...elderly, single men or women, students, even families that have not been invited to someone's home for a meal after church or during the holidays or during a particularly stressful time in their lives.
When I looked up the definition for Hospitality, here is what I found:
Hospitality - 1. The friendly reception and treatment of guests and strangers.
2. The quality or disposition of receiving and treating guests and strangers in a warm, friendly, generous way.
3. Kindness in welcoming strangers or guests.
4. ReceptivenessI hope you will think deeply about this, with me. Alexander Strauch talks about how important hospitality is for building community within our churches and with our family, friends and neighbors. How much more important in these days of less contact with others.
I have been hearing more and more of people feeling lonely or isolated...
So here is our challenge, what will we do to change this for ourselves? We can't make anyone open their home to others, but we can certainly open our hearts, pray, and plan.
So what do you think is important for truly being hospitable?