“Do you have a front door? A table? Chairs? Bread and meat for sandwiches? Congratulations! You just qualified to serve in the most ancient of ministries: hospitality.”- Max Lucado
“Greet the brethren who are in Laodicea and Nymphas and the church that is in his house.”- Colossians 4:15 (NKJV)
In Chapter 6 (“Open Your Door: Open Your Heart”) of Outlive Your Life, Max Lucado asserts that human contact seems endangered – going the way of the snow leopard. Although we consider our society fast and efficient, it’s certainly not personal. Hence, Pastor Lucado writes, in our society we set ourselves up for isolation.
Yet, God desires that people live as exceptions to the standards of our culture. Therefore, we need to serve in the most ancient of ministries: hospitality. And, even a casual reading of the New Testament, Max notes, reveals the home as the church’s primary tool. For example, 1 Timothy 3:2 (KJV) tells us that the elders were to be “given to hospitality.”
Because, Pastor Lucado observes, the early church represented a tinderbox of differing cultures and backgrounds. Thus, God created a genius plan:
- at least fifteen nationalities heard Peter’s sermon on the Day of Pentecost
- Jews stood next to Gentiles
- men and women worshipped together
- slaves and masters all sought after Christ
Finally, in the first generation of Christians, people of varied backgrounds and cultures got along with each other. In addition, Max argues, it’s possible for divergent people to get along today. Pastor Lucado writes:
“The early church [got along] — without the aid of sanctuaries, church buildings, clergy, or seminaries. They did so through the clearest of messages (the Cross) and the simplest of tools (the home). Not everyone can serve in a foreign land, head a relief effort, or volunteer at the downtown soup kitchen. But who can’t be hospitable?”
Today’s question: How do you serve in the most ancient of ministries? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Welcome strangers to your table”