“Use hospitality one to another without grudging.” 1 Peter 4:9
It’s horrible to feel left out of a social gathering. It’s even more uncomfortable to be invited and find there’s no seat or the only chair available is far from the conversation. Being relegated to sitting on the arm of a white sofa while balancing a paper plate full of greasy food on your lap is awkward. Simply put, this is no way to treat a guest.
Put Out Good Chairs.
Chairs scream welcome. They say, “Come, sit and stay awhile.” Showing up at a party to find the gate locked and chairs turned upside down, can make guests feel unexpected. When you see a host hurry to a shed to grab flimsy, dry-rotted chairs covered in spider webs, you envision funny videos in the making.
One year, friends invited us to join them for a church retreat. They also invited another couple and there wasn’t room in the car for everyone. So, they lined up a ride for us in a crowded van with two couples we didn’t know and that ride didn’t show up at the church.
After an embarrassing length of time, the activity leader told someone to get us and our luggage on the bus. At this point, we were starting to feel like extra baggage.
It got worse when we climbed on the bus. Everyone was snuggled in and cozy. You should have seen their faces when the leader asked someone to give up their comfy seats for two strangers. Tension filled the bus and we wanted to crawl under it. We stayed and gained new friends but have never forgotten what it feels like to be invited and not provided a seat.
Participate in Your Party
Don’t just greet and seat your guests, get to know them. Allow time to visit by planning ahead for the expected and unexpected. Here are three ways to welcome invited and drop-in guests:
- Provide a Seat for each guest.
Don’t leave people standing—prepare.
- Pull Up a Chair and join your guests.
Don’t be a wall flower—mix and mingle.
- Participate in Conversations with every guest.
Don’t huddle with your friends—include others.
Showing hospitality means being hospitable, kind and generous hosts. Jesus gave great examples in Scripture for how to treat people:
- Invited others to join Him.
“Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine…” John 21:12
- Included everyone.
“For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him, For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Romans 10:12-13
- Involved Himself in people’s lives
“And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples.” Matthew 9:10
- Invested in others.
“And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” John 6:35
Jesus made friends and strangers feel welcomed in His presence. He invites us to join Him too. Let’s return our rsvp, pull up a chair, and get to know Him. Then, let’s open our hearts and homes to Him and others.
“…Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.” Romans 12:13
Bring It Home
Who could you make feel welcomed in your home or garden today?
Praying for you as we grow together,
From My Heart & Home,