Hospitality I

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Practice hospitality (Romans 12.3).

The essence of “hospitality” is found in the combination of the two words that make it up. The first part comes from the word xenos, “stranger”. Think xenophobia, fear of strangers or foreigners. The second part is from the word phileo, love. Think Philadelphia, “city of brotherly love.”

Hospitality is the love of strangers. I’ve always thought that one of things that makes the scriptures and the believing movement so unique is the orientation towards the alien, the stranger, the foreigner. I’d love to see a count of the number of times the words stranger, alien, foreigner appear in the Quran or in the Gitas and then to get a sense of what the attitude in those writings is towards them. Maybe they are as gracious as the scriptures. I hope so.

It is this love for the stranger that to me makes the Christ following movement the hope for the world of today and tomorrow. In a world of immigrants and xenophobia and terrorism, there is need for a leader who creates a culture and points to a kingdom that is open to anyone and everyone who repents and believes. Jesus is that leader. He makes Hindus, Muslims and Christians human. Those of us who have begun to walk in the way of Jesus are called to create this same culture and point to this same kingdom.

What do you think?

Is looking and pointing outward beyond our own ethnic, socio-economic, cultural group with a view to advance the Kingdom of Christ a part of Christ-following leadership?

Photographs

1] from right to left: Johan Geyser, Lead Teacher, Mosaic South Africa; Octavio Martinez, Founding Pastor, Sojourn; Erwin McManus, Lead Navigator, Mosaic Los Angeles; Me.

2] Octavio engaged in conversation with Wilma (Mosaic South Africa).

Into the Mystic…

Alex McManus
Pasadena, Ca
© 2005

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