Investing in the Lives of Others
What mental images emerge when you are presented with passages that encourage hospitality? Hospitality can come in many forms and expressions. As Christians we are called to practice biblical hospitality and practice it with joy! Some Scripture examples are:
“Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.” ~ Romans 12:13.
“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” ~ Hebrews 13:2.
“Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.” ~ 1 Peter 4:9.
In a practical sense, hospitality is about investing in other’s lives and learning how you can best serve those around you.
In this month’s article, I am going to briefly highlight three examples of excellent hospitality that I have witnessed over the last few months. These people are not aware that I am using them as examples, but I am going to point out their positive examples anyway.
My first positive example is Jan and Alan Crandall. If you have attended Cedar Hills for a while, you have most likely been invited to the Crandall’s home for a meal or some sort of gathering. Alan and Jan make a point to intentionally invite people into their home, usually at least one time a week (and that is low-balling it!). Many reading this can attest to experiencing the Crandall’s wonderful hospitality and being made to feel like you are the most important person in the world.
My second positive example is Lore and Shanna Swartzendruber and Deveri Johnson. Last May we were in a Saturate Group with Deveri, Lore, and Shanna. There was a large group that met at the church on Monday evenings. Eventually, smaller groups broke off and met in individual homes. Deveri was always willing to have that meeting at her home and she has a gift of making her guests feel welcome. The Swartzendrubers’ also seemed excited about inviting people into their activities. They were going camping during a holiday weekend that extended into Monday and they insisted that the group come to their campsite and join them. This has led to an open invite of having the group and anyone else join them for dinner every Monday night. This is a great informal time of fellowship, loud laughter, and people not leaving until well after mid-night. Something special is happening at that meeting. People feel welcome and free to be themselves and the Holy Spirit is doing the work. The freedom and love that the Swartzendrubers’ encourage is apparent.
My third example is the food pantry crew led by Darlene Devries. Recently the food pantry had to undergo a routine inspection, which was passed with flying colors. The inspector told Darlene that everything was great. What really impressed the inspector was the spirit of hospitality. The people who use the pantry’s services reported that ours was the friendliest. It was also the one where they felt the most cared for. The pantry volunteers exhibited joy and excellent service to the pantry patrons. Jesus is using the hospitality of the food pantry to act as His loving hands in this community.
There are many more examples of excellent hospitality going on within our midst. We are the kind of people who make it a habit to be hospitable to others and one another.
Ambassador of Care