Vietnam: Reflection on Biblical Hospitality
We arrived in the United States on September 1. Now, it has been two months since then. We have stayed in several homes with our hosts. The warm welcome and hospitality decreased my homesickness. Being away from home and traveling to different places is not easy, but hosting and being hospitable is a more difficult task.
Being a pastor in a house church where the congregation gathers in my house, we understand the difficulty of hosting many guests, especially when they do not know how to serve themselves. Most everything is out of place and there is clean-up to do after the gathering. My wife, who is the main one cleaning and setting up in the kitchen, puts things back in the right places. I always feel awkward when staying at someone else's house because I don't know what to do to comply with the owner's wishes. Most of the time I just sit and wait to be served.
How can a person have a hospitable heart for strangers? By the way of God's love for His people to cultivate a hospitable heart. All of the hosts treated me in a way that was surprising and exceeded my worthiness. I have learned from them that I am to cultivate a heart of biblical hospitality. I must refuse to rely on my achievements or to dwell on my failures. And I must lay aside past rejections and grudges. As the bible said, “Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.” (Romans 12:13).