Family Dinnner
The Rule of Life, Week 7
by Andrea Lingle

We will be hospitable to our faith community through participation in our worship, fellowship and mission.
     -From the MWF Rule of Life

In my past I have thought of the word hospitable as something that you did that was larger than life. Hospitality was having a perfectly decorated Christmas tree. Hospitality was a clean house and a perfect meal. Hospitality emanated from the same ethos as glossy magazines and could be offered as soon as the pillows on your couch were in order.

But hospitality comes from the latin word hospitalis, from which we get the word “hospitality” and “hospital.”

Jesus said: “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.[1]”

Jesus said: “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.” They replied, “We have nothing here but five loaves and two fish.” And he said, “Bring them here to me.” Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And all ate and were filled; and they took up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve baskets full. [2]

For Jesus, hospitality was bread and fish. The people were filled without all the major food groups. Jesus called it blessed. It is a Gospel of abundance but not one of burden.

What is the basket that you carry, clutched by your side, are you sure it is too spare, too small, to be part of this gospel?

Is your house too messy?
Is your cooking too plain?
Is your house too small?
Is your heart too broken?
So is mine.

But, you see, the story of Jesus feeding the multitude follows the news of the death of John the Baptist and is followed by Jesus going away to pray. He was in a place of weakness. He was broken and tired. Is it possible that the reason we are to offer hospitality is to give us rest? Part of living in community is allowing people to see you as you are. Perhaps that means, next time, letting those tears go. Perhaps that means, calling again, trying again, finding a new way again. Perhaps that means asking for help.

If Jesus Christ can ask a kid for help, you can?

So, yes, tidy up a bit, find a few recipes you like, set the table, and allow that to be good enough.

Invite one person to the table with you. Offer them bread and fish and receive the rest and healing of hospitalis.

Come, let’s see.

Invitation to Missional Mindfulness:

  • How do you care for yourself?
  • What are the burdens that you carry?
  • How could sharing your burdens help you heal?

[1] Matthew 11:28
[2] Matthew 14:16-20

The Missional Wisdom Foundation Rule of Life

We hope you are enjoying our study of the Missional Wisdom Foundation Rule of Life. This is our last week to focus on The Rule. This way of life continually blesses us in many ways and we hope that you, our Dispersed Community, have been able to share in that blessing. If you would like a very nice, framable copy of the MWF Rule of Life, you can find several options in our Merchandise Store.