“Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.” – Hebrews 13:2
The first Bible story that came to mind when thinking of hospitality was the story of Martha and Mary found in Luke 10:38-42. This is a really short story about how Jesus went to go visit Martha and Mary. Martha ran around making everything perfect for the Lord. Mary just sat with Jesus and spent time with him. Martha became upset and complained to Jesus that Mary wasn’t helping at all. Jesus told Martha that she was worrying about all the wrong things. Jesus commended Mary for spending time with Him. This relates not only to the importance of putting God first in our lives but also speaks of hospitality. If we are running around doing all the stuff, we don’t get to really enjoy our guests and build relationships, which is what it is really all about. I found a great activity to do with the kids at Ministry to Children.
Making Room for Jesus
All you need is a container with a lid, a small bowl, some rice or sand, and 3 balls or rocks. I used ping pong balls. You have the kids put the balls in the container (I used a small mason jar) and then fill the container to the brim with your rice or sand. Everything fits great. Next, you have them dump all the contents into a small bowl. Remove the larger objects and have them put the rice back in the container. Then, have them try and put the balls in. The balls don’t fit. The larger objects represent God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. The rice represents all of the other stuff in our lives. When we put the other stuff as the priority, nothing is left over for God. However, when we put God as the priority, the other stuff can fall into place around Him. I also related this to hospitality. If we get so caught up in the small stuff, the real priority, our guests, is lost because we don’t spend time with them. We get too caught up in doing the stuff and don’t build relationships. Try and prep well beforehand so that the by the time your guests arrive you can focus on them.