Equal But Different is a Christian organisation that aims to promote Biblical relationships for men and women. They produce a journal three times a year and someone that we know subscribes to said journal. Back in 2007, the journal included an article on hospitality (in Issue 37), and our friend has kindly let us look at that article. This post is going to be a review of the article, as well as including some of the more interesting points that came from the article.
Caroline Spencer was the writer of the article, and she starts off with an introduction to what she thought hospitality was, but quickly goes on to say that there is much more to hospitality then simply having people over for dinner.
She then goes through the Bible, looking at examples of old testament and new testament hospitality. Including the verses that I have been going through here. Something that is interesting to note, is that Spencer does not specifically define hospitality, but instead infers its’ definition. The assumed definition includes food, shelter, love and clothing. Basically providing physically for someone else.
Spencer puts a lot of effort into saying that we are to show hospitality as
we ourselves have been shown hospitality.
And that hospitality is also a non-negotiable for Christians. One of the most helpful sections of the article is the section about applying hospitality to our lives. Spencer takes time to mention the fact that often work and families take up a lot of our time, and that because of this there are many people (even in our own churches) that we do not show hospitality towards. She says that we should push out of our comfort circles, and share a meal with them today. Very helpful advice.
The final part of the article has some practical tips that are mainly about meals (including a recipe). Spencer states the reason for this.
Although hospitality is not just about food, it’s actually pretty hard to think of hospitality without food!
I found this particular quote very interesting. Our blog over the last few months has shaped itself to include quite a bit about food, and I think that this is due to the nature of what hospitality is.
Overall, the article is a good read if you can get your hands on it, and has some helpful thoughts and insights into what the Bible says about hospitality. It’s not an infallible account of hospitality, but a very good one nonetheless.