If you are just checking in with us here, I'm going through the book Practicing Hospitality: The Joy of Serving Others chapter by chapter and sharing what I'm learning as I go along.
Click here to read my thoughts on Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7.
This has been quite a journey and I have to say that I've really rather enjoyed discussing this book by chapter instead of as a whole. I personally got a lot more out of it than I typically do. Not that I'm going to make a regular habit out of discussing each book I read by chapter, but I'm happy to do that on this site since our focus is more finite.
Chapter Eight of this book is entitled, "Hospitality and Ministry" and beyond a few points, it mostly sums up the rest of the book and offers a variety of different tips and ideas that were collected from women whom Ennis and Tatlock have known. The last chapter is kind of a community affair, not unlike this Offering Hospitality site.
The chapter opens with the following verse:
"For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead." James 2:26Does this mean that unless you practice hospitality, you are not a Christian? Well, no. But how are we supposed to identify Christians in our midst?
* By their love *
What are we supposed to be demonstrating by practicing hospitality? Christ's love to others and His generosity to us. For when we were yet sinners He died for us. (Romans 5:8) We have much to be grateful for and to share with others as a result!
We have a clear command here to offer hospitality (and do it without grumbling) and it very much appears as if every Christian is called to it. We all have different gifts and abilities to carry out this command, so it will look different to a person. But we aren't given exemptions. We're just supposed to do it and find and learn the best way we can minister to others in this way.
If you've held back your thoughts on this book, I'd really love to hear what you have to say about it.
For my part, I gleaned a lot, was chastised and encouraged and am eager to continue learning what it means for myself to offer hospitality to others.
Looking forward to our next book which we will be announcing shortly.