Biblical Hospitality

The following is Part 2 of Gwen Brodd’s workshop on “Entertaining with Elegance and Ease.”

Let me ask you a couple of questions.

  1. Do you enjoy having people in your home?
  2. Do you enjoy watching people meet and have fun at parties and events you helped to plan and host?
  3. Is your home the kind that most people feel comfortable in and drop by to visit unannounced?
  4. Do you consider your home as a place of ministry?

If you responded “yes” then maybe you have the spiritual gift of hospitality which is considered one of the “serving” spiritual gifts. It is the special ability God gives to some to provide an open home and warm welcome to those in need of food, lodging, and fellowship. It involves a readiness to invite strangers to your home for the sake of the Gospel.

It is the ability to welcome strangers and entertain guests, often in your home, with great joy and kindness, so that they become friends. These people tend to have an “open home” where others are welcome to visit. This gift is often combined with the natural talents of interior design, cooking, and event planning.

The Bible tells us that every believer is given at least one spiritual gift for the purpose of building up God’s church and serving the body of Christ. In other words, our gifts are given not for our own benefit, but for the enrichment of others. We should be serving those around us, including the body of believers, family, and friends.

welcomeWhether we have the spiritual gift of hospitality or not, it can be a part of our way of life. None of us deny that it’s easier to share hospitality with family and friends than with the stranger on the street. But the New Testament teaches us that Christianity is about open hands, open hearts, and open doors. When we open our hearts as well as our homes, we’re practicing Christian hospitality.[2]

Some folks make you feel at home. Others make you wish you were at home. – Arnold H. Glasow

I love and enjoy hosting guests and events in our home. I plan on remodeling my kitchen in January to make it possible to hosts more guests and events. Most of my extended family events are held at our home. Every time, without fail, my father-in-law would say to me as he left our home, “Well Gwenie….you did it again…. the hostess with the mostess.” My sister-in-law has said “You don’t just host an event … you make it a memory.” My heart’s desire is to make people loved and welcomed in my home.

Practicing Christian hospitality isn’t about glittering, glamorous table settings or platters of picture-perfect food; it’s about practicing servanthood right in the middle of your practical Christianity. More important, it is about loving others through Christ and making people feel special.

Hebrews 13:1-2 “Let brotherly love continue. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”

“Use hospitality one to another without grudging. As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” (1 Peter 4:9–11)

The Bible Study teacher in me has to give you a little Greek lesson. The Greek word “serve” means to wait upon someone, to attend to someone. It is akin to the word for slave or servant. It has sometimes been translated “minister to”.9

Maybe you are here and you would like to learn how to show hospitality….how to entertain others in your home…especially during the coming holidays.

Would you love to invite others into your home during the Christmas holidays but don’t think you have the time, energy or know-how? In this workshop you

Gwen's table decor~
Gwen’s table decor~

will learn how it is possible to plan, prepare and present food and table decorations for an easy yet elegant event.

I trust that when you registered for this workshop you really wanted to know how to entertain elegantly but with ease!  Is that true?  This is not a Pinterest/Martha Stewart/Rachel Ray class. I am going to give you simple… easy ideas to help you host an event in your home. The most important ingredient in hosting a successful event is planning.

Planning

Plan ahead for the holiday season…. which is already upon us. There are 26 days till Thanksgiving and 51 days till Christmas! Your schedule will fill up fast. Here are a few suggestions to make the season go a little smoother and less hectic and chaotic. These suggestions will free you up so that you can entertain with ease.

  1. Do not schedule any unnecessary appointments between now and New Year’s. Schedule your root canal and doctor appointments for January or February when you don’t have anything else fun scheduled. Of course you have to schedule your hair and nail appointments but keep everything else off your calendar. That will give you time to attend or host church, family and neighborhood events.
  2. Get all your Christmas shopping done in November. My family is required to have their shopping list completed by Thanksgiving Day. I online shoppingdo about 95% of my shopping on cyber Monday…the Monday morning after Thanksgiving. No fighting crowds or driving around for an hour looking for a parking place. I am parked on my couch in my pjs with coffee in one hand and Jeff’s credit card in the other. It is easy to shop for the lowest price and have everything shipped to my house. Sometimes I have to pay for shipping but it is worth every dime not to have to leave my home.
  3. As the orders arrived, I unpacked them and set them aside. Then, they would all get wrapped at one time. That way I did not have to have the wrapping materials out for a month.
  4. Order your Christmas postage stamps online instead of standing in line. I ordered mine in September…even before they were available and I received them the 2nd week in October.
  5. If you are ordering a family picture Christmas card from the internet…do it early. I have the envelopes addressed and stuffed waiting for Jeff to write our family letter. It is his contribution to making Christmas happen (other than paying the credit card bill when it arrives in January).  Last year they sat on my desk for a month waiting for “the letter.” To save time I have printed address mailing labels as well as return address labels.
  6. Sit down with your husband and plan what activities you want your family to participate in during the season, such as church Christmas programs or opportunities to serve in the community. Heads up: if you ornament~have not been serving in a church ministry all year long, chances are you will not be able to serve during the holidays. You might want to select a family from Social Services that needs help and go shopping as a family for them.

Next two Posts~
1. Want to cook the Perfect Thanksgiving Turkey? 

2. Organization is Key to Hospitality

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