Paul writes, “Don’t let the world squeeze you into it’s mold…” (Romans 12.2). Living lives of isolation and exclusion is one of the directions towards which the world squeezes us. Hospitality is about rediscovering human connection, about remembering that “I” am not the only character in this amazing story of the human-kind. The story of human kind is a “we” story.
As I’ve felt my way forward in the way of Jesus, I’ve brought into my home the poor and homeless. But, even though that’s immediately where our minds and hearts go when we begin to think of hospitality, the love of strangers, that’s not the whole or the most of it.
Hospitality begins in us: why are we on this journey through time and space together? Years ago, my wife, Niza, and I began to make a series of decisions that shaped our home. The first of these was that our home would a center for world mission. Our mission? To help others discover and remember that there is a cosmic connection waiting to be made. To help others resonate with the most primal reality of the universe. To make the world a better place for others. Those of you who’ve prayed with me have probably heard me say this: “May everywhere our feet touch the ground become an intersection between heaven and earth. And may everyone who walks with us feel the primal essence of the universe.” Those of you who know me understand that that is one of the ways I speak about Jesus, who makes all things new.
Hospitality does not mean automatially that we bring a street person into our home. It means that we begin to cultivate a sense of connection, a curiosity and a delight in discovering the human experience of those around us we do not yet know. [Just a note: some of us don’t know our kids or our spouses and need to take steps -turn off the tv- asap to invite them into our lives.] Coupled with a craving to share how the story of Jesus intersects with the story of us.
Interestingly enough, I learned last night that my wife had posted without knowledge of what we’re talking about here, an entry on “hospitality.” Needless to say, it was a bit spooky. Here’s her blog: xanga.com/nizasings. Today she put up a second thought on this so you’ll hear it from her perspective.
Don’t let the world squeeze us…love strangers. Practice hospitality. By the way, you belong here.What do you think?
Top: (Right to left) John Edgar Caterson, Pastor, Mosaic Rancho Cucamonga; Me and Bill Clark, Professor of Political Science, University of Michigan…having a terrific lunch today in LA and and an even better conversation.
Side: Bill and John discussing who’s going to pay for lunch. [Kidding].
Int the Mystic…