Practice hospitality ungrudgingly to one another. (RSV)
I was going to write about my failings in being hospitable but that doesn’t seem to be very enlightening. I don’t think of myself as having the gift of hospitality but this verse isn’t dealing with gifts. The next verse talks about that; this one is a command without reference to a gift. That means that I am to practice hospitality whether or not it is a gift. If I think that it isn’t my gift and use that as an excuse, then I’m just plain being disobedient.
Rom 12:13 Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality. (NIV) One aspect of hospitality is sharing with God’s people who are in need. This Christmas was a great time of sharing with others who were in need. Our Bible study group was able to share with families in our church and also with families in Pakistan. It doesn’t take much to find someone in need. Gal 6:10 says to do good to all people. Our hospitality shouldn’t be limited to other believers but we should be especially attentive to other believers.
Heb 13:2 Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. (RSV) 3 John 5-8 Dear friend, you are faithful in what you are doing for the brothers, even though they are strangers to you. They have told the church about your love. You will do well to send them on their way in a manner worthy of God. It was for the sake of the Name that they went out, receiving no help from the pagans. We ought therefore to show hospitality to such men so that we may work together for the truth. (NIV) In the US we don’t see traveling evangelist and others who spread the gospel without first raising support. It was common in the 1st century for people to welcome intenerate preachers. They would offer them food and shelter for as long as they were in town. The book of Acts is full of Paul’s journeys where others welcomed him and provided. On occasions he had to work because there wasn’t anyone to provide.
We occasionally have missionaries visit our Bible study group. We always try to take up a collection for them. While the collection doesn’t offer a lot in their overall needs, it usually covers their expense to come and for babysitters for their children as well as a little left over.
While I don’t feel like I have a gift of hospitality, I do like to share with God’s people who are in need as well as the brothers and sisters who are sharing the gospel.