Day 15 Devotional & Discussion – February 26, 2016

ROMANS 12:9-13

We often think of “hospitality” as a spiritual gift—some have it, others do not. And we often think of it as a “feminine” gift. Yet, this passage commands all believers to practice hospitality. According to Christine Pohl, the Biblical understanding of “hospitality” has nothing to do with creating a welcoming and cozy environment for our families and friends. In the early church, the Spirit’s gift of hospitality was understood to be the provision of secure shelter for the poor wanderer. (Making Room by Christine Pohl, 1999).

Questions for Reflection:

  1. Why do you think Christians have shifted their understanding and practice of “hospitality?”
  2. How can you challenge a “gendered” understanding of hospitality?
  3. If Ms. Pohl is right, what might hospitality look like for your faith community?
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2 comments

  1. When I first entered the ministry (a long time ago), our church conferences were hosted by local congregations and the delegates stayed in private homes. I stayed with strangers and experienced a variety of homes–from simple country farmhouses to McMansions. Over the years, it became more and more difficult to find people willing to open their homes (and delegates willing to stay with ‘strangers’). Now, every conference I attend is at a hotel or college campus. Why the change? The shifts in family demographics (everyone in the home works, single parent families, etc) have obviously contributed. But opening up our homes is a very vulnerable act. Most of our homes do not measure up to the images of House Beautiful, and we can feel ashamed and inferior. But I believe the biggest issue is that we view our homes as purely “private” space. It is where we go to “be ourselves” and turn our public persona off. We think that by bringing people into our private space we will never get a break. In the process, it seems like community breaks down.

    1. For me, the issue is safety. However, by family dynamics greatly skews my current perception, as my father was a city detective, and a surveillance expert. However, this perception, I feel is not rooted in ignorance, but rather experiences that denote what people (from all walks of life) are sometimes capable of.

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