This entry was posted on Jan 16 2011, by Tina and is filed under Devotional
I don’t recall what the sermon was about that day, but what I do remember is the gentle nudge that came while the pastor spoke.
Open your home for lunch. And not just any lunch. A traditional, home-cooked, family meal. Practice hospitality. Invite the Body.
I shared the idea with my husband, and he agreed we should implement it right away. The first Sunday of each month, we would host lunch after church for both friends and people we wanted to get to know. Our first “Sunday Lunch” included two families and roasted turkey with stuffing, mashed potatoes, and green beans . . . in September. The following month we indulged in a slow cooked pot roast with twice as many people.
Now, over a year later, we average around 15-20 people, and our menu has ranged from smoked brisket to chicken masala. A core group who has caught our vision attends regularly and helps us identify new people to invite.
In their essay “A Way of Loving”, Stephen and Karen Baldwin write the following:
When we offer food thoughtfully and with respect, caring for and honoring those present at our table, it creates an atmosphere where sharing, laughing, and relating happens naturally. Offering our hospitality is a medium of grace that opens hearts to deeper things. It is a simple way of loving.
Our family believes this. We’ve seen it with our own eyes. We’ve developed some new, amazing friendships while serving homemade lasagna made with freshly rolled pasta. Other families have connected and forged new relationships over a bowl of jambalaya in our home. There’s something about sharing food that truly does pave the way to real conversation and authentic relationships.
For a couple hours on a Sunday afternoon, we see the Body of Christ in action. This hospitality, this way of loving, feels like worship, and we leave that time with hearts (and stomachs!) full.
Taking it home: The key to hospitality is making someone feel welcome. You can do that through a gourmet meal or store-bought cookies you eat out of the box. For some, you may need to start practicing hospitality with your own family. At your next family meal, prepare something simple so you don’t stress over the preparations. Set aside your electronic gadgets for a few minutes while you sit down together and eat. Use something like Conversation Starters to engage with each other, and see where things go. There’s no perfect outcome you’re looking for, other than being intentional about spending time together. If this is a standard event in your home, try inviting another family or friend to join you.