The Simplest Way to Change the World: Biblical Hospitality

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The Simplest Way to Change the World: Biblical Hospitality
Dustin Willis & Brandon Clements

You may purchase their book here!

We have a lot of new people joining us lately. We want to encourage you to be hospitable to new folks among us! Here is a great piece on welcoming new people into our church family.

The first church, founded after the Holy Spirit arrived at Pentecost in Acts 1, was marked by pervasive love and care for one another. Unlike many modern churches, which are centered around a physical building, they seemed to be a people who lived hospitality everywhere they went. Consider this well-known passage:

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need, And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.  (Acts 2:42-47)

Many Christians often cite these verses as a shining example of the health of the New Testament church, and one thing that stands out repeatedly is that these believers’ faith had a profound impact on what they did in their homes. Yes, verse 46 says they met together corporately in the temple, but the same verse and the surrounding context make it clear that the church also grew in the home of ordinary believers. They broke bread and shared meals together. They devoted themselves to prayer and fellowship with one another.

Hospitality is a theology of recognition, where through simple acts we convey the truth that wayward sinners are made in the image of God where we say to those tho might doubt their worth or purpose, “I see you! You are welcome here…pull up a chair.”

This may not feel quite as glamorous as hiding a refugee in your basement, but it is equally important. When you stop to think about how many everyday conversations and meals shared in homes it must have taken for the gospel to reach you from where it started across the globe two thousand years ago, it is astonishing.

Unlike throughout history, we do not suffer from a plague in which thousands of people are dying, and if there were, we have hospitals to send them to. There likely won’t be a family from another region traveling through your neighborhood tonight looking for a place to stay. We have hotels for that. There aren’t people in our country being hunted down by an oppressive government whom can hide in our basements.

Although some immediate needs that Christian hospitality was able to meet throughout history may have changed in some ways, we must not assume the need for Christian hospitality has vanished. That is a great lie, which has kept us from using our homes as weapons in the spiritual war waging around us. The people around us may not be dying of a physical plague, but they certainly suffer from a spiritual one. They may not need a place to sleep tonight, but they certainly need somewhere they can belong, somewhere they can learn about God’s remedy to their hopelessness and loneliness. They might be able to provide their own food for dinner, but they really need a person who follows Jesus to invite them to their home for dinner in a small act that communicates, I see you, and if I see you, then God sees you.

No matter what situation or culture you find yourself in, God is still moving through His people’s hospitable actions and attitudes. He has entrusted you with this great thread of history to continue His mission of seeking and welcoming those who are far from Him, and that might be as simple as reserving one night a week for the sake of hospitality.

And while the everyday use of our homes to welcome others may not feel like the most exciting cause in the world, we must remember that ordinary does not equal insignificant. We must remember that the church has progressed through two millennia on God’s power at work around ordinary kitchen tables and living rooms. God has always been forming a hospitable people to put His hospitality on display, and if you are in Christ, you’re now a part of God’s hospitable people.

The last Sunday of the month is Food Truck Sunday! We'll have a food truck after service, so plan on eating lunch with your church family!

The first Sunday of the month is Pastor's Coffee. This is your first step for getting to know The Resolved and getting involved.