Marsha Dale shares how she was challenged to 'Contribute to the needs of the saints, practice hospitality.'
Marsha is an MDiv student and is in Ministry with her husband Marc at Resurrection Church, Lockridge, WA
I heard a great pod cast on Strategic Hospitality by John Piper on the Desiring God website. In it Piper reminds us that we have freely received the liberating power of God's hospitality, making us a new and radically different kind of people. He challenges us to freely give, reflect the glory of his grace as we extend it to others in hospitality.
I love Pipers analogy...the physical force of gravity pulls everything to the centre of the earth. In order to break free from earth-centred life, thousands and thousands of pounds of energy have to push the space shuttle away from the centre. There is also a psychological force of gravity that constantly pulls our thoughts and affections and physical actions inward toward the centre of ourselves, our homes, our friends, our lives. Therefore the most natural thing in the world is to neglect hospitality.
Piper calls us to practice strategic hospitality-hospitality which thinks strategically and asks: How can I draw the most people into a deep experience of God's hospitality by the use of my home? Who might need reinforcements just now in the battle against loneliness? Who are the people who could be brought together in my home for the sake of the kingdom? What two or three people's complementary abilities might explode in a new ministry if they had the freedom to brainstorm over dinner in my house?
Piper identifies three specific opportunities: inviting each other home, greeting and welcoming people at church, and reaching out to new groups whom God is bringing into our communities such as International Students.
I was challenged when he reminds us to 'practice hospitality ungrudgingly to one another' (1 Peter 4:9), as so often I grumble and complain when my husband springs a guest on me after the church service.
So…who is coming for lunch/dinner this Sunday?