I love reading some of the endings of Paul’s letters because he shares personal and practical details. Near the conclusion, the Apostle Paul shares his plans to visit the Corinthian church again and plans for other teachers to visit in the mean time. There were no real hotel rooms to lodge in back then, at least not in the way we think of hotel rooms today. Families or wealthy patrons often extended hospitality for those in need of a place to stay. It was particularly customary for folks from among the churches to lodge fellow believers as they came to town.
In the case of teachers or apostles, staying in someone’s home gave them another discipleship opportunity as well as accountability. Paul could easily encourage the Church to follow him as he followed Christ because he lived among them. There were some who had hosted him and could testify to the kind of person he was in private as well as in public. Certainly he impacted lives in homes where he stayed, where ever he went.
One of the products of individualism (that is so pervasive in our culture), is that we have become more and more private. (though our information through social media/technology is more available to the world than you might think.) As we’ve become more private, we’ve become less hospitable. As we work through the global pandemic one of the areas we will need to revive is Christian hospitality to one another. Not just in opening our homes to guests as they come through town, but to one another. There is so much about the Christian life that is better caught through life experience than taught in a classroom environment.
Father, thank you for the grace of one another. I pray that even in the mist of a pandemic that you will give us opportunity and show us how to offer hospitality to one another. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.