Seek out Hospitality?

“Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” – Romans 12:13

The other day I was reading an article about hospitality and it was talking about how the original word for practice in Romans 12:13 has more of a sense of “seek out” or “look for” or “continually purposefully practice.” I thought this was interesting and it reminded me of a Shabbat Grace that I had read in the Celtic Prayer Book.

“Bless, O Lord,
this food we are about to eat;
and we pray you, O God,
that it may be good
for our body and soul;
and, if there is any poor creature
hungry or thirsty walking the road,
may God send them in to us
so that we can share the food with them,
just as Christ shares His gifts
with all of us.
Amen.”

The first time I read that I thought to myself “Wow… that is a dangerous thing to pray.” And honestly I didn’t have the courage to pray it. I remember thinking to myself, “is that really necessary? Is it really necessary to pray that God would send those who are hungry and thirsty and lonely and needy to me?” I mean I am glad to help others in whatever way I can when I come in contract with them and when I see need in the lives of those I know I am more than willing to meet it. Isn’t that enough? Or should I actually be calling need unto myself and seeking it out actively in my prayer life…? Well, according to the reading of Romans 12:13 above I am called to continually seek out hospitality – that means calling it unto myself through prayer. It also means actively seeking out ways in which I can “Share with God’s people who are in need.”

I have been challenged lately that I should offer hospitality and share with those who are in need freely when I have opportunity AND that I should also pray that God would bring more opportunities into my life for me to practice hospitality and share with those in need.  Christ sought me out and in love shared His gifts with us all, shouldn’t I then seek out others and share what God has given me with all who have need?

This is difficult for me. I like my space. I like my stuff. And honestly I feel like I don’t have much to give, especially right now. But, shouldn’t I be the person God calls me to be no matter what my situation is? I believe that I should. And I believe that God calls each of us to be hospitable and generous and people who live with open hands willing to give freely and accept freely. So, even though this is difficult and not natural I will seek to become that kind of person and pray to become that kind of person. Lord, help me.

Rejoicing in the journey –
Beth Stedman

Photograph by Beth Stedman

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Roundup From Around The Web: The Quick Version

So, I finally watched the last two episodes of Lost last night! CRAZY! I’ve been watching the show since day one and I can honestly say I love this show!! Anyway, on from randomness to more randomness…

Julie Clawson has been writing about the life of the mind on her blog – basically presenting a defense of intellectualism. Very interesting stuff that I really felt I agreed with and could relate to.

Phyllis Tickle wrote a blog talking about showing love and hospitality to “strangers” – very challenging thoughts that I felt fit well with Tara’s thoughts on the “invisible”

This was a great blog about Deep Rest.

Ever wondered which US city is the most “sinful”? This study looked at all seven deadly sins and ranked each US city in them. There’s an interactive map to play around with too. I thought it was sort of interesting. I found it from a blog where the author was talking about how the church should interact with the specific needs and problems of the particular city/community it finds itself in.

Well, I think that’s actually it for today.

Rejoicing in the journey –
Beth Stedman

                                                                          

If you like this post please consider buying me a cup of tea (Suggested: $3 a cup)

Roundup From Around The Web: Extreme! :)

Do you ever have days when you just feel inadequate… un-used… un-creative… out of the loop? I feel a little bit like that right now…
I worked a ridiculously long day yesterday which was not fun, but some good things came out of it I think… well for one I got a lot of hours out of the way and a lot done, but maybe more interestingly I was able to spend a lot of time blog hopping and reading articles and watching interesting video clips (my job requires me to spend a lot of time on the computer but often the work is rather monotonous and can be done while listening to lectures, half watching video clips, etc – I still struggle sometimes with whether or not it is ethical for me to do these things while working but then I think that if I couldn’t do them I would probably go insane from the monotony and end up quitting my job which I don’t think is what I or my employer would want…so, I continue). Anyway, I found a lot of interesting posts and articles and videos that I would like to now share…

First, some stories…

Here is a story about a female referee that one school wouldn’t let ref because they said they didn’t believe women should be in authority over men – personally I thought this was ridiculous and I was very proud of her male co-workers who, when they heard about what happened, decided to protest by not working for refereeing for this school  

This post gives a beautiful and extremely challenging picture of what it means to really follow Jesus and what it means to follow Jesus despite our clumsy and often broken efforts.

I have been reading this blog off and on for a few weeks now but this particular post really stood out to me. It is a beautiful story of history and love. Reading it made me cry.

Second, some challenging discussions…

In this post an introvert wonders about hospitality and what radical hospitality should look like. “I wonder if stretching myself in this area is good discipline, or if it is actually being untrue to the person I am? Is it more genuine to just let my friends know that I am introvert who enjoys their company, but needs to get away, or should I look at pushing thru this and learning how to live in a different way, while still being who I am?” The comments here are also really interesting.

Sarah at Accidental Blog discusses whether or not there is a “right” expression of ecclesia.

Third, some other interesting thoughts…

Theopraxis discusses Isolation and the Suburban Condition – I found this to be an interesting post giving me a lot to chew on.

I just found this blog today and came across this post about this families “consumption fast” very interesting and challenging. The idea is that they aren’t going to spend any money (no shopping, eating out, movies, etc) except for paying bills and buying necessary groceries. Bryan and I have gone through periods where we have basically unconsciously done this because of necessity for a week or two here and there but I was really intrigued with this families goal of doing this intentionally for months straight (until July). Check it out to read his thoughts on the idea.

Here is an interview with N.T. Wright discussing Heaven… Interesting stuff.

Fourth, some very interesting videos…

This video is a clip of David Fitch talking about Church Planting Via Missional Orders. I found it very interesting and challenging.

My friend recently told me about TED and the videos that are now being shared from that gathering of people. I haven’t watched that many of them yet but they are FASCINATING. Basically each video is about 15 to 20 minutes long and they are little mini lectures about a variety of topics given by a variety of people (business professionals mostly it seems) – seriously very interesting videos. In this one Hans Rosling debunks common myths about developing nations using some fascinating media and enlightening statistics. In this other video John Doeer talks about climate change and green technologies (I personally found him a little extreme to listen to but I agree that we need to take better care of the earth that has been entrusted to us and I really do think that greentech can not only be good for the planet but can also be profitable and economical. In this video Larry Lessig talks about how creativity is being strangled by the law and talks about how we need new creative laws to deal with the advancements we are facing.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on any or all of these!  🙂

 

Rejoicing in the journey –
Beth Stedman

If you like this post please consider buying me a cup of tea (Suggested: $3 a cup)