Monday, June 02, 2008

Hospitable: It's easier to be than to spell

Paul has a very clear list of qualifications for elders and deacons of the church in 1st/2nd Tim. and Titus. How seriously does the church today take these qualifications? Of course we look at the negative ones like making sure he is not cheating on his wife, an alcoholic, greedy with his money, and has a bad temper, and we do our best to keep people who have demonstrated those characteristics out of leadership in the church. However, do we look carefully at the the characteristics he should be showing? Is he hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined? If he's not the negative things than he must be the positive ones right? Wrong. 

This post is going to be focused on the area of hospitality and how so many of the men and women who serve so faithfully in the church are often overlooking this one qualification. The early church and Paul knew what hospitality is. In fact, that culture still does. They would be appalled at our lack of an open door policy. Our western culture is so concerned with privacy and having time to ourselves that we miss out on the ministry that simply keeping our porch light on and actually being home is. Don't get me wrong, there is a balance that must be had for the sake of the family unit. Also, hospitality does not mean allowing yourself to be used and abused by anyone who feels like coming to your house at midnight and staying until they feel like they've been ministered to on a regular basis. Rather it is people who are really in need knowing that you are available, it is inviting your small group to your house for a barbecue more than once a year, it is opening your home to new people in the church and the community, it is taking cookies to your new neighbors, it is taking meals to the sick the poor and the needy, it is opening our eyes to the need around us and doing something about it even if it means we don't get that bubble bath we've been dying for because someone showed up and needs love. 

My prayer is that we as the body of Christ would take seriously the charge to be hospitable, and open our hearts as well as our doors. 

If you would like to see how the body of Christ can minister to people because of one woman's heart and ideas to reach the community around her for Christ and take care of the poor and the needy, check out these websites. 


Momasita said...

Good Post. Now I really have to get my "Back Yard Gleaners" (is that how glean is spelled?) going. Want to go to V & V's with me to check out the orchard?

Theresa said...

Hi Ellie,
Wow ... I was having a "quiet time" this morning -- something that doesn't happen very often and found myself reading your blog. This post caught my eye right away and I found myself saying RIGHT ON to your points and nodding in agreement. Then I came to the end and saw that you mentioned The Brook and RandomActs and now I'm sitting here crying. Thank you for sharing your heart :-)

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