Hospitality to All

Mar 05, 2012

Extend your hospitality to all people, all kinds. Welcome them as if they were your best friend, a beloved member of your family. Think of the Parable of the Prodigal Son[1] and the sayings of Jesus about how God sends his sun to shine on the evil and the good and his rain to fall on the just and unjust.[2] God shows his overarching love for us in the parable where he has an eye out for his wastrel son’s return and rushes out to welcome him home and through the life-giving benefits of living on this glorious earth that are available to all.

Look upon everyone with love, forgiveness, grace, mercy and welcoming arms. Each of us has the capacity to pour out  love to everyone; do we really want to squander it? With the completion of the Genome Project scientists have found that genetic variation is slight among humans, about 1/10 to 1% of each person’s DNA.[3] Doesn’t this information make it clear that we are all brothers and sisters? That skin, eye and hair color, differences in health and intelligence are extremely small compared to the 99.9+% of DNA we share?

Again we have the teachings from Jesus that are clear on this issue. We are to forgive, not once, not even 7 times but 70 times 7 times.[4] We are to offer forgiveness to everyone, many, many times, probably endlessly. Does God ever stop forgiving us? Or loving us? Or showing mercy to us? Or showering us with grace? Jesus shows in the passage following this one[5] that what God(in this case the master) has given us(forgiveness of a huge debt owed by his servant) is to be extended to others in kind. So if we have been loved, forgiven, graced or shown mercy, we are to turn right around and offer the same love, forgiveness, mercy and grace to others.

Are we to discriminate about who we are to offer this to? No, a resounding NO! Our hospitality, our welcome, our treatment of others is to know no bounds. Love is the most profound thing we can offer anyone. Love shines a spotlight on that person that transforms them. Forgiveness and grace and mercy are all parts of love. So let them shine out of you to everyone you meet. You won’t have to say a word. Love will speak for you, divine love will transform and nurture and comfort everyone you encounter, as you have been loved, transformed, nurtured and comforted.

[1] Luke 15:11-32

[2] Matthew 5:45

[4] Matthew 18: 22

[5] Matthew 18:23-35


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