7 But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers. 8 And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.” 9 Be hospitable to one another without grumbling. 10 As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 11 If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Christmas is two days away and I wanted to share a bit from my heart about opening up your home and finding joy in hospitality. There are many people celebrating the holidays this year alone. By alone that could mean a family living in one state and their extended in another. Maybe you know a family from a different country missing their family abroad during this season. Invite them into your home. Give them a place to celebrate Christmas.
It’s so easy to come up with excuses on why we can’t invite someone over. Our house is too small. Our dining room table will only seat six. The house is a mess. I don’t feel like cleaning tons of dishes, etc… etc… etc…
As many excuses that we can come up with, God commanded us in 1 Peter 4:9, “Be hospitable to one another without grumbling.” I really love this passage because grumbling means what it means… complaining. Coming up with excuses… and we’ve all been there. It’s one thing to invite someone over but to do it with a joyful heart is what truly pleases our Lord.
Being Latina and having friends of many different nationalities we’ve found similarities in how we open up our homes to our friends and family. Below is a list of some of those ways and I would encourage you to think about this in opening up your own home.
- Family and friends do not need an invitation to come over. They just do.
- We don’t ask if they would like something to drink or eat, we just bring something out. Water, cheese and olives… perfect!
- If family or friends stop by at supper time, we invite them over.
- If family or friends stop by near dinner time and we’ve already started supper, we make more food (anything) and invite them over.
- Family and friends do not need hotel rooms, they stay wherever there is room. Even on the floor.
- When we give something to a family member or friend, we do NOT expect something back in return.
- Most importantly, we give. If you have something, anything, that you are not using that a family or friend could use, give it to them. Do not expect money in return.
I had a beautiful example of hospitality and giving growing up. My Tia Helen in California is one of the most hospitable people I know. She opens up her home to all of her family and will always say, “Mija, there may not be enough beds, but there is a floor and in the morning your Nino Nick will make huevos con chorizo and bacon.” When she says this, she’s literally inviting over 20 people at a time to sleep, shower, eat… all with a joyful heart. We always leave her home having felt welcomed and loved. Now that is the gift of hospitality.
This Christmas Eve I’ve again invited my family and some church friends to my house for supper. My little house is going to be packed and we definitely will not all fit around our table but that’s okay. I’ll make a buffet and we can eat wherever we fit. No matter what, we’ll have a beautiful time in fellowship recognizing the birth of our Savior.
During this season, let’s forget about ourselves and truly focus on what is important. Jesus Christ and his example of love and serving one another. Merry CHRISTmas.