Weekly Devotional

June 20, 2018



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Hospitality House?

Hospitality is a big deal at Saint Andrew. We like to think of ourselves as a friendly, hospitable congregation welcoming everyone. We do that every Sunday morning first with the sign outside, then with sincere, upbeat greeters at the main entrances welcoming both members and visitors. And the process for visitors is to make them as welcome as possible without being overwhelming or smothering, yet identifying them for follow-up and showing them the way to the sanctuary and different areas of the church.

All well and good. And Saint Andrew gets an A for the effort of making all attendees feel welcome.

It’s after church, like on Monday mornings at work, in class, at the store, or wherever, that we’re sometimes left without a set of easy directions to follow for everyday hospitality…something like an expanded golden rule or the Boy Scout oath…brief, yet comprehensive…which tells us how to practice that hospitality throughout the week. Paul offers some suggestions in his letter to the Romans 12:9-18:

•Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it.
•Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good.
•Be good friends who love deeply.
•Practice playing second fiddle.
•Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame.
•Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant.
•Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder.
•Help the needy; be inventive in hospitality.
•Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath.
•Laugh with your happy friends when they’re happy; share tears when they‘re down.
•Get along with each other; don’t be stuck-up.
•Make friends with nobodies; don’t be the great somebody.
•Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone.
•If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody. Don’t insist on getting even.

Modernized here from The Message, hospitality sounds so reasonable and simple, yet in these times of partisanship, racism, and self-fullness, these are exceptionally difficult suggestions to even remember, much less accomplish. So just as important, when we’ve been successful in accomplishing even one of the encouragements above, we need to celebrate our success...love ourselves for the accomplishment, and stop looking back at all our failures. Continuing to lament where we have failed is like trying to wear all our old outgrown shoes at the same time as we walk through each new day. In other words, we probably need to remember to exercise hospitality on ourselves--both we and SACC will be better for it.

Jesus, you have shown us the way; help us to follow it.