Saturday, 11 July 2009

Entertaining Angels

Well guys and gals it looks like Jesus loves me more than anyone else in the whole, wide world! Camping may have to be cancelled due to the heavy rain travelling our way from the Atlantic. We have booked a week of camping in August so I'm doing it anyway - I'm just thankful that I may miss our practice run!

Life in the McClenaghan household has been busy, busy of late. There's loads of exciting happenings going on at church. The youth (Emerge) are growing and invading our hearts with their energy and enthusiasm. Alpha has yielded salvation - so loads of people to reach out to and care for. David and I have always desired that our home would be a refuge for others - we have an open door policy and love it when people call by unexpectedly (sometimes I get caught in my jammies so I have to be dressed very early!!!)

Hospitality is a big deal to God. "Be hospitable to one another without grumbling. As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God." (1 Peter 4:9-10) Practicing hospitality isn’t about glittering, glamorous table settings or platters of picture-perfect food; it’s about practicing servanthood right in the middle of your practical Christianity. More important, it’s about loving others through Christ and making people feel special. Romans 12:13 encourages us all to practice hospitality, whether it is our spiritual gift or not. In fact, the Greek word philozenia is actually a combination of two words – philos, meaning “affection” and zenos, meaning “stranger.” While usually translated to mean hospitality, philozenia signifies affection toward strangers. In The Message Bible translation, 1 Peter 4:8-10 says, “Most of all, love each other as if your life depended on it. Love makes up for practically anything. Be quick to give a meal to the hungry, a bed to the homeless – cheerfully. Be generous with the different things God gave you.”

Sometimes we can choose to focus on what we don’t have instead of focusing on sharing the blessings of God. So give it a try. Somewhere along the way, you’ll realize that people are not in your home for the unlimited entertaining budget. Rather, they sense loving kindness and genuine concern. That’s the moment when your home becomes a sanctuary for those God sends your way.

The bottom line is that God can use people like you and me to touch lives. It doesn’t matter if we rent or own a house or an apartment; our homes are an extension of ourselves. When we practice hospitality, we have the opportunity to touch lives in an intimate, personal way. Be bold: God has not only given you the roof over your head, but also will give you the love and wisdom needed to open your home to others.

With a little planning and preparation – and a good measure of prayer – you can be prepared to share your home with friends, neighbours, and even the strangers God may send your way.

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