Radical Hospitality

Ten years ago I visited my very first Brazilian Steak House. I’m not claiming that it was heaven on earth, but you could see the Pearly Gates from there! The food was wonderful, but the service was even more impressive. Teams of wait staff catered to our every need: water glasses filled, clean plates provided, side dishes replenished.

They even provided each guest with a two sided card. The red side meant you did not need anything. The green side indicated you wanted more food. Whenever I flipped the card from red to green, waiters rushed to the table.

I thought this was a great idea. So . . .  I took one of the cards home  and demonstrated its use to Tracy. Yeah, it didn’t work. After a brief discussion about my mental health, the card disappeared, never to be seen again.

Businesses recognize that hospitality is good business. Organizations invest large sums of time and money in Hospitality Training so that their employees make customers feel special. The result is a loyal clientele with repeat business.

Hospitality is also a vital aspect of the church’s life together. We love others because we have first been loved by God. Believers are challenged to welcome others as Christ has welcomed us. We are invited to a lifestyle of radical hospitality with a Whatever It Takes mentality to make others feel at home within the body of Christ.

The actual practice of Christian hospitality occurs in the ordinary, humdrum, daily business of life. Simple acts of graciousness and kindness can make an eternal difference in others’ lives.

In Hebrews 13:1-2, the author encourages the church:

Keep on loving each other as brothers. Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.

I’m not suggesting the person sitting next to you at church is an angel, but then again, who knows? Maybe there really are times that we entertain angels unaware.

Other times we have the opportunity to be angels ourselves.

One thought on “Radical Hospitality

  1. Such an excellent reminder Bill. From someone who has moved 30 times I can tell you my criteria for a new church always hinged on how welcomed we were upon first visiting. Looking around and extending a sincere welcome to a newcomer is the right thing to do. It makes a difference. Angel or not!

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