This Thanksgiving remember…there is a difference between hospitality and entertaining. Hospitality serves guests humbly, showing Jesus’ love- the focus is to let Christ’s love shine in your home and point to Him. By serving guests and focusing on them, you open your home to let them see Christ. Entertaining means the focus is on the perfect food, decor, and outward stuff, often resulting in “pride.”
Which will you practice this Thanksgiving?
When we choose to practice hospitality, we are putting other’s need above our own. The internet can be a bit dangerous at this time of year because it is absolutely filled with ideas for that “perfect” dinner. There’s an infinite amount of ideas on Pinterest. You can make elaborate crafts, recipes, and decor for your home. We can spend hours focusing on these things. Yet, we need to be very careful where we put our focus.
It can be very easy to spend way too much time gathering ideas, and then striving to make that “perfect” dinner. It is the classic Mary and Martha syndrome. Very quickly the entertaining becomes about “us.” In reality, hospitality is about our guests.
We can be focused on the perfect decor, or we can be focused on how we make our guests feel in our home. We can make them feel loved and comfortable, or we can impress them with our fancy preparations. One focuses on God and the other on ourselves.
I would rather my guests leave my home feeling something special- that they saw Christ. Not a fancy party. I would rather have my guests see me sit at Jesus’ feet rather than preoccupied with details.
Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:41-42
Hospitality points to God, but entertaining points to ourselves and what “we can do.” Hospitality is an act of love. We practice service. Years ago I read the book Open Heart Open Home and it changed me. It changed the way I felt about opening my home to others…it is not about impressing anyone, but serving them. Ultimately if we are practicing hospitality we are sharing God’s love and shining His light.
Hospitality says, “come on over anytime….my door is always open, and may you leave having seen God’s love in action…”
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