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Friday, 17 June 2011

one person at a time


When do we see the need for welcome?

Is it when someone comes to stay with us?  Eat with us?  Have a drink with us?

Is it when new people come into our families, our communities, our church?

What about the smaller moments – when a child approaches to share a secret, when a friend needs a place to confide, when a family member longs to share the news of their day with us – do we make the effort to make them feel welcome too?  Or do we want to get on with what we’re doing and tell ourselves we’ll make time for them later?

Do we welcome the ordinary, small gestures of the everyday as well as the different and unusual?

How can we make welcome an attitude as well as an activity?

"HOSPITALITY, rather than being something you achieve, is something you enter. It is an adventure that takes you where you never dreamed of going. It is not something you do, as much as it is someone you become. You try and you fail. You try again. You make room for one person at a time, you give one chance at a time, and each of these choices of the heart stretches your ability to receive others. This is how we grow more hospitable — by welcoming one person when the opportunity is given to you.”

- Daniel Homan and Lonni Collins Pratt,  Radical Hospitality: Benedict’s Way of Love


Used in welcome service


H/T Missional Church Network

1 comment:

Felicity said...

A friend said many years ago that she thought I had the gift of hospitality. I wasn't sure what to make of her observation. Surely being hospitable is something we should all aspire to rather than leave it for people that have that gift? It's true that despite being an introvert, I do enjoy having people to eat or stay. I have a real desire to make sure guests are well-fed, have a comfortable and warm bed and feel at home in our house. Maybe it is the desire that is the gift, providing the motivation to take opportunities as they arise.

It is often an effort to get things ready, and clear up afterwards, but the time shared and memories created usually more than make up for the work. I like the concept of hospitality being something we improve on. The more you host and entertain the more efficient and better you get at knowing what to cook and how to arrange things. The practical side becomes easier and then perhaps you can improve on the listening and caring as well as spotting the need and opportunities.
So, to answer your question how do we make hospitality an attitude? Just do it.

"The desperate need today is not for a greater number of intelligent people, or gifted people, but for deep people."- Richard Foster