Introduction Part Two

Hi, friend. Take a seat. You are welcome at this table. (Ok, so maybe this isn’t really a table, and maybe you prefer sitting on the couch. Either way, you are welcome here.) Get comfortable. Find a spot in your house where you can just sit. We are about to do an online spiritual practice, a new way of doing Lectio Divina. Are you ready?

Read the following verse, and while you are reading it, let the words soak in. Read it aloud if you need to do so.

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. -1 Peter 8-10

I don’t know about you, but if this isn’t a call to hospitality, I do not know what is.

Above all, love each other deeply.

This chapter in 1 Peter is about right living, how we are supposed to rid ourselves of crazy ways of living, no longer being like pagans who are consistently pressuring us to be like them, to conform to their sinful ways. The author is telling us to stop living in sin, but he does not stop there.

Above all, love each other deeply.

Over everything that the author tells us to do, he tells us to love each other because love covers over a multitude of sins. Love is evangelism. Love beckons the sinner to sin no more. What does it mean, though, to love each other deeply? The next two sentences outline that, and this is where we can lean into our calling.

Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.

Why would this sentence follow the charge to love each other deeply if not to define what it means to love one another?

Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.

So… what does this mean, then? How do we offer hospitality? It seems that if we are going in the direction as the previous sentence, then the next sentence may give us a glimpse of how we should go about doing this.

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.

Have you ever taken a spiritual gifts test? Ya know, the one where it tells you that you have the gift of prophecy, exhortation, speaking in tongues, etc.? If you have, then you have an idea of what this is telling us to do. We are all given specific and unique spiritual gifts, and through using these gifts we can offer hospitality to one another.

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.

Like I said in the first blog post, when I think about hospitality, I think of home cooking. However, I am not good at cooking simply because I do not have much experience in it. I cannot offer hospitality in that way, so if my view of hospitality were limited to this view, I would be lost. What if we thought of hospitality in a way that may include the “spiritual gift” of cooking for my grandma but includes my gifting of exhortation and your giftings of teaching or preaching?

What if hospitality means that you spend a few more seconds in the grocery store because you feel compelled to ask a woman how she is doing as she is searching for a fresh bunch of bananas, or what if it means that you invite a friend over for dinner one night just because you were thinking about that person? What if hospitality means making space for others and creating space for the Holy Spirit to work through you? What if hospitality simply means living out the command to:

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.

How will you love this week?

From an open table,

Courtney