The islanders showed us unusual kindness. They built a fire and welcomed us all because it was raining and cold. Acts 28:2
Listen: Acts 28
After a cold, wet two weeks of fighting an angry sea, Paul washes up on the shore of an unknown island. Shipwrecked—emotions were high. Gathering around the drenched and exhausted cluster of sailors, soldiers and inmates, the islanders build a large fire to welcome and warm them. One of the men from the island invites them to stay at his estate. The people of Malta went out of their way to meet a real need for those they barely knew. When Paul washed up on the shore of their lives, they built him a fire. This is hospitality.
Hospitality was important to the early Jesus-followers. Jesus encouraged his disciples to be kind to those around them. Not just their family and friends, but also to strangers and even their enemies. His disciples passed this important teaching down.
Hospitality remains a central teaching to us today. As Christians, we are to go out of our way to meet a real need for someone we barely know. We are to value others the way God values them.
Hospitality can be challenging. Hospitality requires we interact with people we do not know. They may look different than us or have different beliefs. But this is exactly what Jesus did. He entered human history to thrust himself into our lives to meet a need we never could. We experienced his grace and hospitality, and it should spill out of our lives onto others.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Today ask God to open your eyes to where your life needs to be interrupted to show hospitality as you consider how grace spills out into whole life generosity. Confess that you don’t always want to do this and ask God to help you want to be hospitable. Then, look for ways to build a fire (be hospitable) as you move through your day.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.