Who has the Lord invited you to pray for and connect with this week? How have you been able to engage with them?
As we have prepared our hearts and lives to encounter Christ in Lent we receive his love and invitation to love others. In reaching out in love to others, there is also a taking in- receiving people into our lives, homes, and hearts as Christ took us into his family.
Hospitality was a central marker of the early Church. Over the years we have watered down the definition of hospitality to be connected to things like entertaining friends and table settings, however the Greek word for hospitality is philoxenia which means the love of strangers or those not like you. The author of Hebrews admonished, “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.” (Hebrews 13:2).
In their white paper on a “Theology of Biblical Hospitality” Safe Families for Children shares, “Meals had a particularly prominent role in New Testament hospitality. Want was common and sharing food provided sustenance for those in need…Jesus’ offer of table-fellowship was a sign of salvation and acceptance to those who were not acceptable.”
As you continue to respond to Christ’s invitation to love and acceptance, who do you need to invite to your home? Who can you welcome around your table who is a stranger to you in some way? Maybe it is one of the three people or families you are praying for during Lent. Could you set a date and make an invitation this week?
Prayer Practice: Lectio-Divina
Begin in silence, turning all your thoughts and desires over to God.
Read 2 Corinthians 5:20-6:10 slowly and carefully at least twice. Notice any word, phrase or image that seems to have energy for you. It could be a word that invites you, a phrase that puzzles you or an image that intrigues you.
Sit in silence with your word or phrase or image. Ruminate on the word gently, allowing it to sink into your heart deeply. Consider how it connects with your life today. Ponder how it calls you to confession, gratitude, or a new way of living. This may even include a struggling with the text as the word becomes incarnate within you.
Fall deeply into prayer. Be honest with God about your feelings. If you want, write your word in your journal. Draw your image. Express how God is present with you now.
Rest silently in the presence of God. Move beyond words, phrases or images. Enjoy the freedom that comes in His presence.