“It's a risk. You let people into your house, make them feel welcome; what if they don't leave!”
This was my husband's tongue-in-cheek answer to the question:
What are your thoughts on hospitality?
Maybe hospitality is risky?
The introvert in me wonders if the guests will overstay their welcome and asks, “what if we don’t have anything to talk about”?
The perfectionist in me asks “what if my house or cooking isn't up to snuff?”
The busy in me says, “There's just not enough time.”
These ponderings may feel valid but Scripture leads us to think in a way that is radically different:
At the beginning of Romans chapter 12 Paul beseeches us, his brethren, to present our bodies as a living sacrifice, not being conformed to the world, but having a renewed mind. He then goes on to instruct us on what this looks like. In verse 13 he says we should be given to hospitality.
Hospitality is a catalyst for relationship. It has eternal value. It is worth the risk.
When our family traveled to India last March to bring home our youngest son, we brought along our long-time friend, Donna. She helped us navigate the city and introduced us to friends she had made while living in India years before.
Donna's hospitable friends welcomed us into their home. Ravi served fresh-squeezed orange juice purchased from the neighborhood vendor. Caitlyn made pizzas, generously sharing the *real* cheese that is so hard to come by in India. They shared stories of how Christ is working through Genesis of Hope and Cooperative Outreach of India, organizations begun by their family. They asked for prayer.
What if Ravi and Caitlyn hadn't been willing to risk hospitality? They could have simply shaken our hands at a Sunday morning church service or met us for a meal at a restaurant. But by inviting us into their home they communicated a willingness to invite us into their lives. That willingness has led to a relationship that God can ultimately use to further His Kingdom; a relationship that encourages and challenges us and makes us aware that hospitality may be risky, but done with the right heart, has eternal value.
Hospitality is the fruit of a transformed mind. Let God handle the risk and act in faith.
We are excited to announce that we will have an in-person worship service outside at 8:30am in the MCC parking lot! We can’t wait to see you! In addition, our Sunday live-stream (on Facebook and Instagram) will move to 10:00am for the foreseeable future for those who are not be able to join us.
We’ve chosen for our service to happen outdoors as there are still a number of requirements and protocol for indoor gatherings. So, we are not inviting you to join us indoors at this time. Instead, come for our outdoor gathering, or continue to join us online later from home.
Please read the Guidelines for Gathering to Worship Together at MCC in its entirety so that you know what to expect when you come to our outdoor service. This will help you and those around you navigate a very new situation, hopefully in a way that is as seamless as possible. We believe that our unity will be expressed and strengthened as we serve one another in Christ this week so join us in extending grace to each other, amid our differing perspectives, and different views about how to live in this time.
“... submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”
“Outdo one another in showing honor.”
“By this all men will know that you are My disciples,
if you have love for one another.”
Please know that we are making every effort for this gathering to be in full compliance with the protocols given by authorities. No single plan for our meeting will ever be the perfect solution in any one person’s eyes. We will all be making compromises. But as we defer to these guidelines set up by our elders and leadership, we will be serving our fellow believers, honoring Christ as best we can, and providing for a beautiful expression of worship to happen together.
Please stay home if any of the following apply to you:
- You are immunocompromised.
- You are feeling ill (running a fever, coughing, or showing other signs of sickness)
Please don’t put yourself or others at risk. Thank you for staying home and staying safe, because we love you!