Hospitality: Receiving More Than You Give

One Minister’s Musing

June 30, 2011

Hospitality:  Receiving More Than You Give

The campus center is very quiet these days. When someone walks in the door, the empty walls delight in welcome. I’ve been musing about how to meet and greet these guests without overwhelming them. How do we live with a spirit of hospitality not only in these summer days, but again next fall? The hope of the center is to be a welcoming place, a touchstone to provide support and care for many to walk through our doors.

I wonder about how to provide hospitality more faithfully. The ideas include: 1) Placing a filled cookie jar on the table so that anyone who walks through can enjoy a sweet treat.  2) Waiting to see who the Fish Bike Rack will catch. 3) Serving cool and warm beverages more often as people walk by.

I’m reading about hospitality as I wonder about what it means for us as Christians to offer hospitality. Douglas M. Koskela wrote:

“Hospitality is an orientation

that attends to the otherness,

listening and learning,

valuing and honoring.

The hospitable one

looks for God’s redemptive presence

in the other.”

In reading this, I know that hospitality is not only the work of the pastor, but all of us.  We need each other. Will you wonder with me?

1.   Where have you experienced such hospitality? What did you notice?

2.   In Matthew 10: 40-42, Jesus asks the disciples and all followers of Jesus to give a cup of water to “these little ones.” In other words, we are to extend hospitality to the marginalized. Who are the “little ones” among/around us? Who are the marginalized at UIUC?

3.   What symbolic cup of water do they need?

4.  How can we offer them a “cup of water”?

Will you send me your thoughts? Thanks!  elainekayolson@gmail.com

Gently,

PR. E   <><