What is Christian hospitality, and why does it matter? Learn how God calls us to love our neighbors and how you can put this into practice in your own home.
For well over a decade, I've shared all my favorite family-friendly recipes for everything from busy weeknights with your kids to fun and festive celebrations like Christmas and Easter.
But it wasn't until this year that I truly started to see these efforts as something that could bring a sense of hope and love back into an increasingly dark-feeling world.
In the last few years, loneliness has become one of our society's greatest problems but it also happens to be the trickiest thing for us to solve with a new law or governmental program.
You can't fix loneliness without love.
And I have yet to see a candidate running for office on that platform.
So it is my belief that if we want to truly be the change we want to see in the world, it all comes down to loving our neighbors and good old fashioned Christian hospitality.
I'm not talking about just our "theoretical" neighbor, but the ones who are actually, physically:
- right across the street or next door to you
- parked behind you in the car pick up line
- standing in the lobby at your children's school
- sitting in the cubicle next to you at work all day
The real world people who make up your community, we need to all be better about loving on those people and using our talents to serve each of them.
So how can we put Christian hospitality into practice and finally walk the talk?
What is Christian Hospitality?
"Speaking biblically, hospitality is treating strangers and friends alike.
It is welcoming one another into our homes and lives.
Hospitality is a sacred duty."
- Chris Surber, Pastor at Liberty Spring Christian Church
Bible Quotes on Hospitality
During my morning basket Bible reading time, I've been highlighting passages all year about the importance of celebrating God's gifts with family and friends and inviting one another into our homes.
But there are several specific bible quotes that address Christian hospitality in particular:
1 Peter 4: 8 - 9
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.
Matthew 25: 35, 40
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in.
"Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me."
Hebrews 13: 1 - 2
Keep on loving each other as brothers and sisters. Don't forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
Galatians 5: 14
For the whole law can be summed up in this one command:
"Love your neighbor as yourself."
Why It Matters
A new report suggests that 36% of all Americans—including 61% of young adults and 51% of mothers with young children—feel “serious loneliness.”
Does that statistic surprise you? It does not surprise me even a little bit.
Over half of Americans in those specific populations are suffering. They may not be the poor and the sick but they are absolutely worth our time and effort to minister to.
Making connections with new friends, especially if you've moved to an area far away from where you grew up like we did, is so very difficult.
But community and friendship has to start somewhere. Someone has to be willing to put their invitation out there first.
Why not you?
What to Celebrate
This part just happens to be my super power.
I never met a holiday or special event I didn't want to mark with a party.
Whether you want to start a new tradition for "Friends-Giving" or just want to enjoy the fact that it is Friday, there are a million reasons to be grateful for all God's blessings throughout the year.
Why not share that joy with your neighbors??
If you need a more tangible reason to gather, don't miss my list of all the best Catholic feast days to enjoy during the year.
What to Serve
I used to be shy and modest about my love of cooking. I saw it as a hobby, something I did to feed my family, a way to fulfill a need.
Then I read this:
1 Peter 4: 10
"Each of you has received a gift to use to serve others. Be good servants of God's various gifts of grace."
If you love to cook like I do, it is a very special God-given talent He wants you to share with your neighbors!
Whether you're making a meal train meal for a neighbor in need or hosting a party in your home with plenty of food for guests to enjoy, you're sharing your gifts and loving your neighbor.
God also wants you to enjoy yourself and have fun with the celebration, too.
So what should you serve? Whatever brings you joy to cook.
A Special Note on Meal Trains
One of the most beautiful things we can do to support our friends and family in need is to provide hands-on help with a meal train during difficult times.
But what if you don't like to cook?
You don't need to be an amazing cook to be the best darn host on your block, all you need to do is be the one willing to open your home.
God will still love you, and your guests will too, even if you gather a few delicious things from the grocery store and present them on pretty platters.
I've got super easy grocery store bought party menus for every season of the year.
But I've also gathered a few lists of practical cookbooks that are filled with the perfect recipes and hosting tips you need for whatever event you are trying to plan.
If you want to enjoy inspiration for specific feast days, you'll love these Catholic cookbooks. If you're looking for easy party menus that any home cook could make, you'll love these realistic cookbooks for entertaining.