by Pastor Dan Christian
Biblical hospitality means loving a stranger, not just loving those who are in our circle of friends or socio-economic strata or comfort zone. Jesus modeled that kind of hospitality by spending so much time with those on the fringes of society that he was accused of being a “friend of tax collectors and sinners” (Luke 7:34ff). Could that said of you or of I, that we are friends of society’s castoffs?
I caught a glimpse of Biblical hospitality this past Sunday morning, as I watched Luna Wong and Garrett Ohara interact with a visitor to our church from the surrounding community. They didn’t just give a polite greeting and move on (though greeting one another is certainly a Biblical command as well), but they stood there for quite awhile and listened to this person share about his life, and they talked to him and encouraged him and made sure he felt welcome at our church. That is a beautiful picture of hospitality—that is what God calls us to do as His Body, the church. Luna and Garrett were simply being the church to a brother in need, and that was a beautiful picture to see.
Then after service I saw another glimpse of Biblical hospitality, this time as Frank and Kay Murakami greeted and talked with and blessed this same guest. They were not concerned with his appearance or what others might think if they were seen interacting with such a person—they simply loved on him just the same as they would love on you or I or whoever God puts in their path.
Thank you Kay and Frank and Garrett and Luna for loving a stranger like Jesus would do, and for giving us a picture of what God calls us to be—to not just invite people into “our church” but to BE the church to all those whom He sends our way. As God continues to deepen our connection with the community of La Puente, may all of us learn to extend ourselves in such a way, that we also would be living demonstrations of Biblical hospitality.