I’ll admit it, I love Pinterest. Very few days go by that I’m not on the sharing site checking out new pins and saving them to one of my many interest boards. If you’re unfamiliar with the site, it’s basically an online corkboard where people can share recipes, home décor, DIY projects, etc. There are some amazing things on there, but sadly, most of them make me feel like a failure. My home doesn’t look like it should be on the pages of some trendy home decorating magazine, I’m not handy with a miter saw (that’s a type of saw right?) and I don’t have time to cook a weeknight meal with 85 ingredients. All of this could make a person feel a little discouraged. So why do I keep going back to it? Because I am still inspired by the spirit of hospitality that leaps from the pages.
During this Christmas season, you will probably open your home to your neighbors, friends and family or be invited into someone’s home to celebrate. Churches will hold special Christmas gatherings (this seems like a perfect time to remind you about Grand Parkway’s Christmas Eve services). Dinner menus are being created, Christmas cards are being sent out and ugly Christmas sweaters are being purchased left and right. Amidst all the hustle and bustle, I wonder, do we miss the doors that our hospitality can open?
The Bible is full of exhortations on practicing hospitality. 1 Peter 4:9 tells us to be hospitable “without complaint” (try remembering that verse the next time someone shows up for a last-minute visit, your house is a wreck and you haven’t been to the grocery store in weeks). In 1 Timothy 3:2 we see that hospitality is a requirement for church leaders, and Hebrews 13:1-2 sets hospitality as a duty of all believers, not just those in charge.
So why is hospitality so important? As someone who should probably buy stock in Hobby Lobby, I’d like to say it’s so that I can show off my latest decorating project, or have people wondering “how does she do it all”, but truthfully, hospitality has nothing to do with me. Hospitality has everything to do with the Gospel.
When people feel welcomed by your warm and inviting space, loved and filled by your delicious meal or special and remembered by your beautifully wrapped gifts, they let their guards down. Hospitality softens hearts and makes them fertile soil for receiving the Good News of the Gospel. Our hospitality is a reflection of the love of a Savior who would move heaven and earth to be with you. We show our love for Christ by loving others.
This Christmas season I would encourage you not to get caught up in the pressure of the perfect Christmas tablescape (yes, that’s really a thing), but remember that your open home and open arms could make the difference in someone’s eternity. Out of the many gifts we will receive this Christmas, the greatest is the “indescribable gift” of Christ (2 Cor. 9:15). Be hospitable, not because of Pinterest, but because the unmerited grace of the Gospel beckons you to love others well.
Wishing you a very Merry ( & hospitable) Christmas,