On the surface, hospitality can seem synonymous with entertaining. However, entertaining is about impressing others while hospitality is about serving others. Entertaining can easily make much of the host while hospitality makes much of the guests. Entertaining can come off shallow and superficial while hospitality brings depth and authenticity.
The biblical act of fellowship (koinonia) happens among believers living in community. We need that desperately. The literal definition of hospitality, however, is “love for strangers.” Hospitality is what we extend to outsiders, strangers, and anyone who finds him or herself in deep physical or spiritual need.
- In your own words, what are God’s instructions in these verses?
- Why do you think God valued Israel’s willingness to welcome strangers?
- Think of a time when strangers welcomed you. How did hospitality feel coming from people you didn’t know as opposed to hospitality from someone with whom you already have a relationship?
Other Scriptures to Engage with this week:
2 Samuel 9:1-13; Luke 14:10-14; James 2:1-9; Luke 19:1-10; Exodus 23:1-9; Deuteronomy 10:12-22.