Love is more than words. It is very practical. As followers of Jesus, we should be part of tight-knit communities, knowing that the doors of our brothers and sisters are wide open to us. We should be clearly identified by our hospitality!
In Rwanda, hospitality is a trademark of many communities. Children sing a song which literally says, “We welcome you, we want to be hospitable to you.” People love to sit in front of their homes, quietly chatting with each other, sharing life in their community. Families live near each other, often helping with childcare and other practical needs.
I’ve known hospitable people before, but they are a rare breed. Our family lived in England for four years and there was a family in our church that sacrificially extended themselves in hospitality. Brian and Alecia Bowers, along with their three boys, invested every Sunday in the lives of others. Following church in the morning, they would invite people to their home to share lunch and life…and then usually dinner too! Their hospitality had an amazing influence—I can testify to the spiritual impact because I have experienced it first-hand. This type of hospitality is rare indeed!
In the First Century, churches often met in houses. The community was tight. Many material possessions were held in common. The author of Hebrews even encouraged followers of Jesus to extend their hospitality beyond their immediate circle: “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” (Hebrews 13:1-2).
Have you had any angels in your home lately? I don’t know if I have ever entertained an angel, but I do know that God works through the hospitality of His people! Who can you invite over this week?