Matthew 10:40-42 (click for full reading)
“..and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple – truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.” —Mt 10:42
(Click on the title above to listen to the sermon)
The verse above has taken on new meaning for those who have just returned from the 2014 POP Vision Trip to Tanzania. Everywhere we traveled in that breathtakingly beautiful and impoverished country we received gracious hospitality in the name of Jesus. We were given purified bottled water to drink by people who cannot afford that luxury for their own families.
One of our youth, Joelle Borgeson reflected on her experience in Africa; “They opened their homes, churches, and schools to us in order to show us their life styles and values. In all honesty, this trip has changed me. I now see that material things aren’t what make you happy…
..From here on out I’m going to try to be more thankful, open, and welcoming. I’m so happy to be going home, and I know that I’ll miss this place greatly. It definitely opened my eyes to the struggles present around the world and to the people who do so much in order to help. I’m humbled by this experience.“
Hospitality has always been a core value for the Christian community. We are called to continue the long tradition of inviting and welcoming others into the community of faith in Christ and into our lives. But today we are reminded that we are also called to humbly accept the hospitality of others. Hospitality involves some risk. To let others in will most certainly change us. Just ask Joelle or any of the others returning from Tanzania. “Truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.”
Questions to ponder/discuss:
1) Have you ever been surprised by someone offering unexpected hospitality in a time of need?
2) Why do you suppose hospitality is such an important value we see among the early church?
3) Many believe that life moves so fast today that traditional hospitality is becoming less common. “It’s hard enough to get our own family together for a meal, to say nothing about inviting others over.” What has been your own experience in this area?
How does the church practice hospitality today? How might we improve our hospitality
This holiday weekend be extra mindful of the hospitality you offer and the hospitality you receive. Try to appreciate the unique blessings of being welcomed and of being welcoming. Then simply look for ways to widen the circle to include others…