Sunday Dinner: Hospitality — It’s Biblical

The holidays are over, ball games are won and lost, school is back in session, Christmas “thank yous” are written, and life is settling down for a couple of months of winter.

Instead of sharing a recipe with you today, I suggest that before you begin planning your next Sunday Dinner, we talk about something St. Paul advised in three places in letters to the Romans, to Titus, and to Peter: He said, “Given to hospitality,” “But a lover of hospitality,” and “Use hospitality one to another without grudging.” (He may have addressed the last one to the wives who were having to do the cooking.)

I haven’t done a survey, but I suspect there is less entertaining at home than in previous years because the hosts, as well as the guests, enjoy going to restaurants.

That is all right, but regardless of who picks up the check, it is not as hospitable as inviting someone to your home.

Such an invitation can be on several levels, including: coffee and cake in the morning, coffee or tea and cake (the leftover fruitcake?) in the afternoon, a light lunch or supper, or a more hearty meal (whether it is in the evening or at noon). For many of us here in the agricultural South, “dinner” meant the noon meal because the workers usually stopped for their meal at 12:00. For most people, “dinner” is the day’s largest meal and is served in the evening.

Who should be on your new invitation list? Certainly you will invite new members of your church. Invite neighbors that you know and like, but don’t see often because of work schedules, etc. Invite new residents in your community or neighborhood. Invite relatives that you may see only at family gatherings (or at funerals). How about that school friend with whom you were so close, but who now, with family and career, has drifted away?

You don’t have to do a massive housecleaning or redecorating. What guest is going to open a closed door? The things your guests will remember will be the friendship, fellowship, and the warmth of your hospitality.

Trust me on this. Paul and I can’t be wrong.