Wednesday, August 14, 2013

More entertaining

When I published the last post, I felt something nagging me.

I realized that it was the part where I divided people (potential objects of hospitality) into "brothers and sisters" and "strangers."

The problem is that for many people these groups may BOTH be made up of strangers. Are you close to people in your church, or do you find it hard to get to know people? Maybe the potential is there, but you've recently joined a new church.

I found myself going back to the passage and wondering about the context. How well did the people in that particular church know each other? And if Paul says "keep on loving each other," does that mean they're already good at it, or just that it's to be a continuous goal?

I guess we're not really off the hook here, because it doesn't say to love other Christians once we've gotten to know them and decide we like them, it just says to keep on loving them.

As for the strangers, is it safe to say that they are people whom we believe to not share our beliefs? After all, if we thought they were believers, we would welcome them as "brothers and sisters."

So, to edit my last post, it isn't really about showing hospitality to friends vs. strangers. Perhaps it would be more correct to say that we are called to love those we are in Christian community with (buddies or not), along with new acquaintances whom we suspect to belong to other religions.

Is that better?


  1. Well, between family and church, about all I can do is love and minister to "friends".... Of course, among the people I meet in business ways or as part of someone's therapeutic experience, I can just try to be as kind and warm as humanly possible. I don't guess that is really hospitality, though.

  2. So many questions to consider. Do we let friendships come about naturally, or should we actively pursue people, hoping to befriend them? Sometimes I think of hospitality as squeezing my heart and life open to allow room for one more person. If it were as simple as just spending time with people I like anyway, that wouldn't really be reaching out, would it?


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