Hospitality is a word that causes some anxiety. It conjures up images of a perfect house decorated by Chip and Joanna Gaines and dinner menus from Martha Stewart.
In our modern Western culture, hospitality has morphed into entertainment. But what if God had something different in mind? I believe He did. God’s desire for us is to be welcoming both in our hearts and our homes.
Peter wrote that we are to “Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling” (1 Peter 4:9). Now, maybe when you have others over, you don’t grumble, but you do worry if you have enough food, if the house is clean enough, or if it’s decorated well enough. Hey, no judgment from me! I’ve been there. For years, I wrestled with those worries. Recently, though, I had a group of 12 over to my house and one of the guests said to me, “Becky, you host others so effortlessly.” In all honesty, it’s not without effort. However, what I have learned along the way is to not get worried or frazzled before company. I want people to feel welcome in my home.
I believe it’s time to get back to what Jesus intended as far as welcoming others. His desire is that His people are welcoming both in their hearts and their homes. Think about it: Jesus invites us to His table. Every time we celebrate communion, we are celebrating His welcoming hospitality.
In our culture, we’ve grown accustomed to meeting friends at a coffee shop or at a restaurant. That’s not wrong. I mean, who doesn’t like to have a meal out? Particularly, if you don’t enjoy cooking. However, with the current rise of loneliness, I think we need to get back to inviting others into our homes. When people are welcomed into your home, there is a deeper level of connection that takes place. The holiday season is a great time to practice this. So, here are a few easy ideas to help you open your heart and home this season.
3 Practical Ways to Open Your Heart and Your Home This Holiday Season
Invite a Few Friends Over for a Charcuterie and Conversation Evening. Creating a charcuterie board is not challenging, so it’s an easy way to welcome others. Have your friends share a memory of one of their favorite holidays. Then, chat as friends about what made that holiday so special. By opening the conversation as the host, you are inviting others to share their stories. When friends share their stories, connections grow deeper.
Plan to Bless at Least One of the Less Fortunate in Your Community. Years ago, when Steve and I lived in California, our daughter Keri (at the time about 11 years old) had never seen so many homeless people. Keri was tremendously moved by what she saw and wanted to bless them at Christmas. She sat us all down and asked us to write Christmas cards. Steve and I felt skeptical. We wondered, wouldn’t they rather have food or blankets? But Keri insisted and, not wanting to squelch her compassion, we went along. What happened that Christmas as the cards were passed out was extraordinary. Person after person in the homeless community said, with tears in their eyes, it had been years since they had received a Christmas card. Those cards said in a practical way, God welcomes you and so do we; you matter.
Invite a Friend Over for Coffee, Hot Chocolate, or Tea. Rather than just meeting at coffee shops, invite a friend over for coffee or tea. Then share your hearts and spend a few minutes praying for each other. The connection built through prayer is unlike any other. As you sip your hot beverages and pray, you will sense the Holy Spirit’s presence.
Our Father makes a fabulous Christmas gift for your friends. You could give it to a few of your friends and then plan in the New Year to start diving deeper into the Lord’s Prayer. It will be 50% off between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, so don’t wait!
This week on the Connected Mom Podcast we’re talking about making gratitude fun for your kids. You can listen on any podcast app!