The Advent season begins on the first Sunday of December this year and Christmas is not far behind. You’ve extended invitations, planned your menus, and decorated your homes. You are ready to be hospitable.
But what does it really mean to live the stewardship of hospitality?
The Bible tells us in 1 Peter 4: 8-11, “Above all, let your love for one another be intense, because love covers a multitude of sins. Be hospitable to one another without complaining. As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God’s varied grace. Whoever preaches, let it be with the words of God; whoever serves, let it be with the strength that God supplies, so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong glory and dominion forever and ever.”
When we read Peter’s words, we see that hospitality is more than good manners. We see that hospitality is part of what it means to be a faithful steward.
So, during the hustle and bustle of Advent and Christmas, how can we live out the stewardship pillar of hospitality to make this season even more special?
Open your home to strangers: The holidays can be an especially painful time for people. This year, do something about it. If you’re already expecting strangers, welcome them warmly. Decide ahead of time that showing love is more important than passing judgment.
Be truly cheerful: When you open your home for the holidays, you may be a happy host, but are you a cheerful one? Believe it or not, there’s a difference. A happy person feels happiness. A cheerful person causes happiness.
Use your gifts to serve: Hosting and serving go together. You bake the turkey, pour the drinks, and slice the pie. To some degree, this is expected and normal. What’s not normal is for a host to truly serve — to look for the needs in others and the gifts in themselves and find even a small way to help.
Give God glory: When family, friends, and strangers enter your home, it’s an opportunity for them to see Christ in you. You never know what’s going on behind the scenes in people’s lives or how much an encounter like this might mean to them. So when you welcome and serve your guests, remember that your ultimate goal is to give God glory.