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Read. This. Book.

I love to read. A lot. My Dad used to read to us all the time when we were little and I’m pretty sure he still has The Three Billy Goats Gruff memorized. When we got older my Mom would read aloud to us things like Chronicles of Narnia and King Arthur. And I would fly through books on my own. So when I make this next statement, I don’t say it lightly:

The following book may be the best one I have ever read.
(Bible excluded.)

The Gospel Comes with a House Key by Rosaria Butterfield

I knew it would be good. I read Rosaria’s first book, The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert, earlier this year and loved that one as well. But I didn’t know I was going to find a book that so captured what biblical hospitality is and explained it. I didn’t expect to be so convicted. And I didn’t know there was a book that held the longings of how I want to live my life.

Growing up, my family had an open door policy. I wasn’t even aware of it. There were times when we officially “hosted” but most of our gatherings were laid back and people-focused. We didn’t have a big table but who cares? That’s what the living room floor, the porch, and the yard are for! I specifically remember being a teen and we found this really odd looking key and spent all day trying to figure out what it went to. Finally my Dad got off work and we asked him, “Oh, I think that’s the key to the door!” No joke, people. We lived in town but our door was never locked except at night. We would go to church and have friends say, “Hey I forgot to tell you! I stopped at your house the other day to change my clothes for work. You guys weren’t home but I knew you wouldn’t mind.” And we didn’t. I thought everyone lived that way.

Until I moved to Ohio. My family didn’t grow up with such a thing as protected “family time.” I didn’t quite understand the concept. I didn’t understand why you couldn’t have people over to your house on Sundays after church because that is reserved for family time. What a weird thing. Can’t you have family time with other people? That’s my thinking. I didn’t understand the stress people feel when having people over. They tell me there isn’t enough room. Look at all this room! I knew that a welcoming heart makes the room, not the space around you.

And yet this book stretched even my idea of hospitality. It is Rosaria’s whole life. She views it as a mission field which was almost new to me. Anyone and everyone is welcome in her home at any time. She plans and goes out of her way to invite strangers (the very definition of hospitality.) She and her husband fostered and adopted teens, befriended neighbors that no one else would, had almost daily gatherings at their house, invited college students to live with their family while at school, and did so with the gospel of Christ in mind.

I’ve been told before that I have a crazy view of hospitality but after reading this book, I don’t think my view is CRAZY ENOUGH! What a beautiful picture of the gospel to seek out the lost people in this world and bring them into your family. And you know what, it’s going to be inconvenient, you’re going to get hurt, and it will take time and energy.

But it’s also such a blessing. Psalm 68:6 says that God sets the lonely in families. What a privilege to be a part of that promise. To be a family to someone else.

Read the book, people.

 
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Posted by on July 14, 2020 in hospitality

 

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Hospitality

I just recently moved. It was the first time I’ve ever moved really. And, in case you didn’t know: moving is hard work. And I just had ONE person to move! (And I only moved up the road a ways. 🙂

Before now, I’ve been living in an apartment at the camp. And by apartment I mean a bedroom, bathroom, and small refrigerator. Not the most glorious place I’ve lived but hey, it was free! Anyway, I moved up the road to an actual HOUSE! Like, one with bedrooms, bathrooms, living room, dining room, kitchen, ect. You know, a HOUSE! I’m sharing this HOUSE with two other gals who also work at camp. It’s a huge place with way more space than we need!

As you can imagine, I was pretty excited to be moving! And my greatest excitement came from the fact that I can now invite people to my HOUSE! I’ve really missed that. Growing up, we had people over to our house almost every week. Sometimes it was planned and sometimes it was for some spontaneous waffles. I’m so excited to do that at my HOUSE.

I’ve done quite a bit of research on hospitality. Some of the Bible verses on the topic include:

1 Peter 4:9  “Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.”

Romans 12:13 “Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.”

Luke 14:12-14  “He said also to the man who had invited him, “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid.  But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind,  and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”

And there are a lot more. Hospitality is such a good outreach to others. I think sometimes it is an overlooked command in Scripture. You don’t need to have a perfect HOUSE to have others over (that will never happen anyway!) You just need to have a hospitable attitude. What does that look like? Oh, probably something like this:

Luke 10:25-37  “And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”  He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?”  And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”  And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.” But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side.  So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.  But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him.  And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.”

 
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Posted by on December 30, 2014 in hospitality

 

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