What a joy to share my heart with you on the gift of hospitality. It's an important gift from God.
Life is better together. God created us for relationship. I will be laying a foundation for the purpose behind hospitality and not just entertainment. My hope is to encourage you to pursue this special gift. I'll share some fun and creative ways to bless others, as well as look for opportunities to reach deep to the heart of others around you.
The Table Experience has always been special to me since I was a child. There was always room for "one more" at the family table. My dad was a minister/pastor. We were always making room at the table. It was a place to enjoy a meal, a time of laughter, encouraging words, and heartfelt love expressed while sipping iced tea (or spills of ice tea during dinner, oops) with a family of seven. Our family table was not decked out with beautiful fresh flowers (or silk), place mats, scented candles, or a lovely tablecloth, but you were certain to know that the love of Jesus met you at our family table. We were of simple means but the heart of hospitality was a given from my parents. I learned at the youngest remembrance of what it was like to see love, hear laughter, and share prayer needs with family and friends around the table. My heart was so full to experience such richness, even with little means. Personally, I didn't know any difference. It was HOME where family and friends gathered and it was "sweet joy". It was a "sacred space"!
We see our lives making big adjustments in our ever changing world. As we are being asked to socially distance to protect ourselves from COVID-19 and to quarantine for days and weeks at a time, we find ourselves being isolated from people and the warmth of fellowship. Creativity has been on the rise to find new and creative ways to connect with people and celebrate life's important big events.
Truly we are finding that we are better together. We need each other.
Truly we are finding that we are better together. We need each other. It brings nourishment to our souls--healing and joy. It benefits the mind, body, and spirit. God intended for us to have community and to share life together in all seasons of life. That's how we grow into healthy lives. Two are better than one!
King Solomon was very wise. He wrote in Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (NIV):
9. Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor:
10. If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help him up.
11. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone?
12. Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
The increasing need of connecting with others is evident all around us. Hospitality is a reflection of your warm heart that refreshes the spirit of others. Whether you host a wonderful dining experience with beauty and wonder or just sit across the table in conversation with coffee or tea and store-bought cookies, it becomes a special time, sharing heart to heart. It becomes a place where hearts are warmed by the fire of friendships. God didn't intended for man to be alone on our journey.
When you sit across the table from someone it becomes a common ground. Love is established, character, courage, discipline and discipleship are demonstrated around the table. The importance of the Table Experience is valuable and profitable. The table is where our faith, hope and love grow. Food of any kind brings people together. It's nourishment to the body, mind, and spirit. My momma would always say "It's life-giving, breaking bread together". Like Christ broke bread.
Jesus certainly enjoyed and modeled the Table Experience, hospitality at its finest. He gives the invitation to come and dine, whether at a campfire with His disciples, or at the chief tax collector Zacchaeus' home. Jesus used what He had and even used a little boy's lunch and blessed 5,000 with five loaves and two fishes. Talk about being creative! He was always welcoming others with a time of refreshing and nourishment as they spent time together.
Jesus borrowed a room to host the Passover Supper for His twelve disciples. He had things to share with them that would change their lives forever. Yes, He used a guest room in someone else's home. Christ didn't have a home but He used every opportunity to care about others and model hospitality. Jesus takes our excuses away that we may have. He used whatever means to find ways to bless and minister to others. The value of hospitality began with God, our Father.
This week I would like to challenge you to step out of your routine, and maybe comfort zone, to reach out and ask someone for coffee or drop off a coffee to them. How about inviting a family over for a meal or snack? Sending a text with a kind word, expressing love and a Scripture, is always an added goodness.
If you are concerned with COVID-19 or your schedule is super busy, you could drop off some goodies or dinner. Here's a simple meal you could take to someone sick or going through a difficult time or even "just because".
The giving of hospitality is a blessing to both the hostess and the guests. Let's "offer Hospitality to one another without grumbling." (1 Peter 4:9)
You've got this! Don't miss out on the wonder and adventure of hospitality. It will challenge you and benefit others. And don't forget to have fun!
The Table Experience is Entry One in this month's blog series at Sanctuary, Simple Pleasures. What creative ways have you found to connect with others during this unprecedented time of quarantine and social distance? Share with us in the comments below.
Dorcas Schroeder has been communicating God’s Word for 35-plus years with warmth and grace, inspiring others to pursue a more intimate relationship with Him. Her passion is to see herself and others embrace the joys of walking with Christ in every day experiences. Due to various circumstances in her family, Dorcas became caregiver to both her parents and her brother who suffered with A.I.D.S. Through heartache, disappointment, great losses, and life happenings, she has learned that her source of help came from through the Scriptures that leaped off the pages of the Bible to become a reality. Her ministry is designed specifically for women for Practical Living Every Day. Dorcas’ desire is to show women their true value and worth in God’s eyes and their potential to uniquely influence the world around them. Dorcas enjoys decorating, gardening, & designing electronic cards for hundreds of people throughout the year. Married to the man of her dreams, Karl, for 46 years, Dorcas absolutely loves her husband and two grown children, Karl Jr and Tabitha, their spouses, and six grandchildren. Dorcas and Karl attend & serve at The Bridge in Mustang, OK. Follow her on Instagram @Dorcas7