This message was preached by Colin D'cruz at Word of Grace Church on September 17th, 2017. To listen/download the audio please click here. To listen to the Sunday's worship and prophetic contributions please click here.
Over time, the meanings of words change. Gay used to mean happy. Now it means something else. Nice used to mean foolish. But today the meaning has changed. It’s the same with the word silly- it meant, a blessed person. Hospitable today means having your friends and family over. But earlier, in Hebrews 13, where it mentions hospitality it’s derived from two root words, xenos and philio- which means love for strangers. So hospitality means inviting people you don’t know.
We have digressed from Jonah, but we are going to look at Biblical hospitality. The role of the leadership in the church is to help each of us to obey. We do that in two ways- by teaching, exhorting, etc. and secondly by putting it into practice.
Romans 12: 9- “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.”
Showing love is through hospitality. Hospitality is not having your relatives for a meal. It is love for strangers. It doesn’t mean you pick someone up from the street and have them in your house, but it is someone you do not know very well.
1 Peter 4: 9- “Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.”
In 1 Timothy Paul states hospitality as one of the qualifications for a leader. This is not just for leaders but for everyone in the church.
Q. Why should we be hospitable?
It starts with genesis 18 with Abraham. He offered hospitality to strangers. In the next chapter, Lot pursues some people so that he could be hospitable to them. In the New Testament, we see Jesus, Peter, Lydia and many more practicing hospitality.
In the modern time, we consider it an intrusion when people come over. So I want to share this morning about loving one another. The way we outwork love is to practice hospitality.
Q. What is hospitality not?
1. Hospitality is not putting out a massive spread. It can be a simple meal. Hospitality is not entertaining- it is to spend quality time with one another. It needs to be loving.
2. Hospitality is not about you but the person who you invite. It is not for us to boast and share about all our achievements. It is for you to share life with one another. We need to make it about Jesus because that’s why we are doing it in the first place. Often it leads to connection.
3. In our culture the women stay in the kitchen. But the key thing is the fellowship that is happening over the meal. So the women need to participate in the conversations.
Q. What is hospitality?
You are inviting people without expecting anything back. There is a reward and we need to look to Jesus for the reward, not to be invited back.
One of the things in Word of Grace is that we invite people over for a meal soon after the Sunday meeting.
To the singles- in India, when we say I’m single, it sounds like they are helpless. But my exhortation to the singles is to practice hospitality anyway. What can you do? You can invite people to a restaurant. You can team up with someone who are a home and invite someone there. To a potluck, bring more than a loaf of bread.
Leviticus 19: 33-34 “‘When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. 34 The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God.”
We might not have been in Egypt, but we were dead in our transgressions. Now, he made us alive. And because we have this great salvation, we practice hospitality. We must put our heart into it. Hospitality will cost us something. It is all about them and not about us.
I want to commend the church because we are a hospitable people. It doesn’t depend on the size of the house, but the size of the heart.
Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again), Spirit filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that have people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service. To know about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.