Hospitality in Greek is Philoxenos
Philos – dear, friend, friendly
Xenos – foreign, entertainer for guests - host strange, stranger
My mother and grandmother were great at showing hospitality. There were more Sunday’s than not when we had guests sitting at our table for Sunday lunch or snacks on Sunday night after church. I remember the fun we had getting to know the kids, making friends while playing games and eating. I will be the first to say I have not carried the tradition on like I should. I have all the good excuses; the extra work, inconvenience, time, small home, the plates don’t match, I’ve said them all.
A couple of weeks ago I attended a conference and one of the sessions was on hospitality. I was reminded that we are told in the bible to show hospitality. Romans 12:13 says “contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality”. In 3rd John verse 5 we read that John commended Gaius on his hospitality. Matthew 25:35-40 tells us that when we entertain in the Lords’ name it is the same as entertaining the Lord himself. Hebrews 13:2 says don’t neglect to show hospitality to strangers, because some have entertained angels without knowing it.
I found these suggestions helpful from the session:
Keep it simple. It doesn’t have to be a 5 course meal. Order pizza. Buy desert, Costco’s apple pie is good. The plates don’t have to match, sometimes paper is fine.
Make them feel welcome and comfortable by talking with them and enjoying their company.
Let them help if they offer.
Don’t entertain expecting repayment.
If God says showing hospitality is important then I am going to do as my mother and grandmother did, start to show hospitality. So when I ask don’t be surprised.