Shauna Niequist has made more more aware of the spiritual dimensions of hospitality. Since reading Bread and Wine, I’ve been inspired to make more of an effort in this area. It is also specifically commanded in the New Testament on multiple occasions, so that’s another good motivation. There is something really powerful about the most obvious application, which is inviting people over to share a meal. But hospitality can be much smaller than that: a morning playdate, snacks for the neighborhood kids, or a “can you come in for a minute?” when someone drops by on a quick errand. While certainly every brief encounter doesn’t need to turn into an hours-long conversation, the general culture of a hospitable home is one that prioritizes forming and deepening relationships.
I’m such a rookie here, so take my thoughts with a grain of salt. But I think the idea of hospitality is important to a liturgical home because it’s a way to get the lamp out from under the bowl, if you will.
Part of the idea of a home liturgy is to display the truth of the gospel in a way that captivates the senses and the imagination. So if your home is a space where the sacred and the ordinary dance together, why not invite people into that as much as possible? With the exception of bedtime routines (boundaries!!), most of the “teaching moments” that work so nicely with children apply just as well to visitors.
Maybe it’s hard to bring up spiritual things in a conversation with your neighbor. But in your living room, she might ask about the unusual Advent decorations on the coffee table and it might give you an easy opening to talk about how you’re celebrating Jesus’s birth and anticipating his return. In the spring, you can invite someone over for pancakes on Shrove Tuesday and talk about preparing your hearts for Easter by observing Lent. Or maybe you’re with friends who already share your faith, and you can encourage one another by practicing eucharisteo together.
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