Radical Hospitality

This morning I read in my devotional about Christian Hospitality. Hospitality is not the same as friendliness. Welcoming the stranger means more than just, "Hey, I'm glad you came to my church today." It's an invitation to share lives-- an affirmation that we are dependent on each other. 

One of the early Christians pointed out the miracle of hospitality and the abundance that comes from sharing, saying, 'We have no house, but we have homes everywhere we go.' Our Savior came into the world dependent on hospitality, from the moment he was born in a borrowed manger until he was buried in a donated tomb. What is more, Jesus longs to meet us face to face in the disguise of the stranger, the guest at our door.
- Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals 

The resurrected Jesus appeared to the disciples first in a house where the doors and windows were locked-- hardly an invitational atmosphere! Undeterred by walls and other physical realities, Jesus appeared inside the house and said, "Peace be with you" (John 20:19). Jesus offers relationship in spite of the erected barriers and the fear that inspired their construction. He brings peace and joy.

It's the gift of Easter. Throughout the Great Fifty Days, how are you embodying hospitality? Are you welcoming the stranger who joins us for worship? Are you embracing the stranger in the community? Are you serving those who are not able to find friendliness and a warm welcome anywhere else? 

We shouldn't worry about being a Doubting Thomas when it comes to Easter. Jesus appeared to Thomas and offered him exactly what he needed to believe. Doubt is natural and healthy. We should worry about being the kind of person who is controlled by fear so much that we shut out those who would come to us to offer us peace and relationship.

How are you embodying Easter hospitality?