Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. ~1 Peter 4:9
On Sunday, I’ll be exploring the idea of radical hospitality.
In his book, Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations, Bishop Robert Schnase writes that, “Radical means ‘drastically different from the ordinary practice, outside the normal,’ and so it provokes practices that exceed expectations, that go the second mile, that take welcoming the stranger to the max. It means people offering the absolute utmost of themselves, their creativity, their abilities, and their energy to offer the gracious invitation and reception of Christ to others” (p. 21).
As I’ve been studying and preparing for Sunday’s message, I keep coming back to 1 Peter 4:9, where we are encouraged to “offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.”
Those last two words…”without grumbling”…they trip me up every single time.
How many of us would admit to offering hospitality with grumbling?
I know that I’m definitely guilty of practicing grumbling hospitality! I do the “right things” in an attempt to welcome others, however, my motivation is sometimes suspect. There are times when my motivation is simple to do the “right thing”, rather than having the “right heart”.
Radical hospitality is all about doing the “right things” for the “right reasons” with the “right heart.” We offer our best, not because it’s what we should do, but because it’s what we desire to do.
After we discover the heart and desire to practice radical hospitality, we should move beyond the ordinary and the expected. We should practice hospitality that makes people say “wow!” We will leave a lasting impression one way or another. People will either be wowed, indifferent or totally turned off.
Radical hospitality goes beyond friendliness. Radical hospitality goes beyond coffee and donuts (but, it probably should include coffee and donuts…the best coffee and donuts, by the way!). Radical hospitality goes beyond what anyone might expect. Radical hospitality leaves a lasting impression! Radical hospitality is one of the keys to getting folks to return to your home, church, business or organization.
Grumbling hospitality also leaves a lasting impression! There are plenty of places I won’t return due to the hospitality (or lack thereof) received.
So, how have you experienced radical hospitality? How have you practiced radical hospitality?