This past Sunday our pastor preached a convicting sermon on the necessity for hospitality in gospel communities. One of his main points was to expose the predominant reason for our lack of hospitality within Christianity: we’re just plain selfish. We like the peace and comfort that boundaries provide, so too often we stay behind them and make excuses for why we don’t invite people in.
This got me thinking of the contrast we see in the gospel. In the gospel, God has opened up his home (heaven) to us. But, in order for him to show this kind of hospitality, much more had to be done than simply extending an invitation. God had to make a way for us to receive his hospitality because our rebellion kept us from enjoying his fellowship, sitting at his table. He did this by leaving the comfort of his home and entering the wreck that is our home (Philippians 2:5-8).
By giving his life, Jesus made certain that we would enjoy God’s hospitality. But God’s hospitality is more than simply being invited to his home for dinner and leaving to return to back to our home after laughing a bit and playing Jenga. In his hospitality, God actually makes his home our home. Philippians 3:20 tells us “our citizenship is heaven”, and more so, the doctrine of adoption has deep implications for the comfort and intimacy we will enjoy in heaven, not just as guests, but as sons and daughters.
Church, we get our motivation for hospitality from the reality that we have been treated ever-so hospitably in Christ.