When we read about Jesus in the gospel accounts we see that He didn’t just talk about loving people as a vague and morally good thing to do, when it feels right for us. But He actually demonstrated what it looked like to live a life of sacrificial and welcoming love for ALL people.
Hospitality, in the biblical sense, wasn’t just intended for our friends, our family or our co-workers, but for anyone we may meet. Whether they believe what we believe, appear to need love or seem to have it all together. Whether they accept us, or reject us. We, as God’s people, are to learn the art of extending the same kind of radical hospitality that Christ has first offered us.
With that, let us be encouraged (and challenged) today by the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Roman church on what this might look like practically. All the while remembering that it is never in our own strength that we grow in this kind of love for one another, but it is in all that Christ does and shapes in our hearts and minds.
Spend some time today meditating on this passage of scripture. What might it look like to actually live this out today? Stop to thank Jesus for His love and grace extended to you and ask God to help you recognise those around you that might be needing this kind of love and welcome.
9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honour one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervour, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another.Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.