Dining In

April 28, 2021

2 Don’t neglect to show hospitality, for by doing this some have welcomed angels as guests without knowing it.

Hebrews 13:2

Written by Lauren O’Neill from the Station Hill Campus

One of my husband’s favorite things to do is invite people over to our house for dinner. Old friends, brand new friends or acquaintances—it doesn’t matter. We pick a date, begin preparing for the evening, and each person in our family does their part.

There’s something special and vulnerable about inviting someone into your home. Sharing your food, welcoming others into your memories, opening your evening to the unexpected. And ultimately, offering a safe space for others to perhaps lay down their burdens for a little while.

It’s always worthwhile, but it’s not always easy—and so often, that difficulty proves its value. There have been countless times when the Enemy has tried to sow discord between my husband and me right before guests arrive. Or maybe our daughters are having a difficult day, and I’m exhausted with them or with my own failure to deal lovingly with them. In those moments, it can be hard to open the front door when the doorbell rings.

But so often, those evenings are the ones when God moves in a poignant way.

Someone will open up and share a burden, and a holy relationship is strengthened. Or a conversation will illuminate a next step needing to be taken. Without fail, there is the basic refreshment of interacting with other people of flesh and blood, over food and drink.

And always, when the door closes behind them at the end of the night, I find myself thinking and praying about different things than I was earlier that afternoon.

When we open our homes, tables, and hearts to fellowship and service, we are taking part in something dangerous and holy. Scripture makes clear that the Enemy will seek to destroy these opportunities (John 10:10; Ephesians 6:11). When hands take hold of other hands and a prayer of blessing is said to the Lord over steaming plates of food, something holy and precious is taking place.

Even if circumstances aren’t ideal, even if the budget is tight, even if the house isn’t fully clean, opening the doors in love is always the standard for a Christian. Our family has had so many opportunities to improve in this area, and I pray that the Holy Spirit will continue to challenge, stretch, and convict us through this meaningful form of ministry.

Hospitality isn’t always easy—but it is always worthwhile.

Questions to Ask Yourself

  1. How does your family engage in hospitality? Do you feel this is an area you do well in, or do you struggle with it? Are there things inhibiting you from opening up your home?
  2. Consider identifying one family, couple, or individual you can connect with and invite to your home this next week.

Missions Prayer
Pray for Thom and Linda, retired global workers from our church family. Pray that the work they have done continues to bear Kingdom fruit for decades to come. Pray for health, protection, and for continued opportunities to encourage and mentor their friends all over the world.