Hospitality is not just a kind smile or nice refreshments, though those are certainly important. It’s not glamorous most of the time—like putting enough paper towels in the restroom. More often hospitality is noticed by its lack than its presence. How do we create a space in which people feel they belong to something bigger than themselves and are an integral part of what happens there—that each item is provided for you, individually, as well as for the community?
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As you gather with whomever you find yourself with this Thanksgiving, how can you offer belonging as an act of hospitality?
One night, about a week ago, black bears all over Asheville plotted, conspired, and rampaged this city in the mountains. It was the first chilly evening of the fall and it signaled the beginning of a season which leads to many bear-human interactions. Car alarms were set off, trash bins turned over, refuse scattered everywhere, and graves dug up.
What do model trains and tadpoles have in common? This newsletter article!
This week we are looking at two stories of missional living from two different communities of faith, a local church and a neo-monastic community.
Who We Are and Who We Represent
What Does Missional Mean?, Week 10
by Adam White
“Remember, who you are…” These words awaited us every time we as the youth group at New World United Methodist Church traveled anywhere.
The words came from our Youth Director, Sherry Womack. Sherry would always turn and look at us, sometimes just me directly, and, before we could get off the bus, say “Remember, who you are!” and then we’d respond with a glib symphony of pubescence and reluctance, “and who you represent.”
I had the pleasure of catering a wedding sendoff brunch for a wonderful couple here in The Mix. As their guests trickled in, each curious about this unique space, some began to ask me questions and were even interested in a tour. My client of course approved, and what I witnessed on this tour was a feast for the eyes and hearts.
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.
We will be hospitable to our neighbors in our families, neighborhoods and workplaces.
-From the MWF Rule of Life
Being hospitable is something that is absurdly simple and yet overwhelmingly hard. Where is the line between hospitality and recklessness?
Jesus Christ practiced radical hospitality.
What does it mean to practice “radical hospitality?”
For Christ and the disciples, it meant relying upon the hospitality of others to fulfill their service and missional life. Within three of the four Gospels, Christ givesauthority to the disciples and sends them out without means or resources, asking them to rely upon the hospitality of strangers to fulfill their mission (Matthew 10:6-16, Mark 6:6b-13, Luke 9:1-6).