I am an entertainer at heart. Whether it be in my home, on stage, or at a party, I love to make people laugh or try to encourage their hearts somehow. I have always loved being a hostess and enjoy welcoming people into my home. No matter the occasion, I love having a full house, cooking yummy food, and helping everyone feel at home. I have a heart for hospitality.
A few years ago, after living on our own for over 8 years, my husband and I moved in with my in-laws after transitioning back to the States from pastoring a church overseas. I had always equated hospitality with home. To me, good hospitality was always having sweet tea and cookies for your guests. It was a clean house and making each person feel welcomed. To me, hospitality was simply having a welcoming place for people to come. But as we made our move and settled into someone else’s home, I wondered what hospitality looked like for me without having my own place.
During that time, the Lord began teaching me that hospitality had little to do with my home, and much to do with my heart. Hospitality was not about how well I entertained company or how I made my home look, it was about how well I showed them true belonging. And I didn’t have to look any further than Jesus to see this proved.
Jesus was a nomad during his earthly ministry on earth. In Matthew 8 he says, “Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the son of man has no place even to lay his head.” While Jesus did have a place to sleep each night, often it was different and always changing. We see no record of Jesus owning a home or “putting down roots” in a nice quiet suburb 15 minutes outside the city. Yet, it is obvious throughout the Gospels that Jesus was the epitome of hospitality. People flocked to him. Those who knew the heart of Jesus knew home, and it had nothing to do with brick and mortar.
In John 6 Jesus taught a hard lesson to the crowd that followed him. Many turned away, yet those who truly knew Jesus stayed. Jesus asked in verse 67, “Do you want to go away as well?” Then verse 68, “Simon Peter answered him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.’”.
When we experience the type of “home” that comes from being with Jesus, we realize He is where we belong. It truly is heaven. What our hearts all long for in “home”, and what our actions strive for in hospitality is all answered in the presence of Jesus.
Later, Jesus went on to say in John 14:2-3, “My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”
So where are you today? Are you away at school, missing home? Have you just moved into your dream house with your family and you’re busy decorating and getting ready to throw your first house party? Maybe you live at home with your parents, who never get along, and you just want to run from the only place you’ve ever known as home. Or maybe, like I was, your home is borrowed. Whatever your situation is, in our comfort and in our want, as believers we must remember this truth: our real, true home is in heaven, with Jesus. It is a home and a place that is more real than our own current reality. And that is what is important to communicate in true hospitality.
Once we understand where our true home lies, and what real hospitality is, we can begin to live out those truths to others. That means we don’t have to worry about having the nicest house, the perfect family, or the best food. We can rest knowing we belong with Jesus. Then, we can show that same thing to others. We have an opportunity to show true love and belonging by reflecting the heart of Jesus Christ.
We have a place where we belong and we have an eternal home if we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior. Are we communicating Christs’ true hospitality to others each day? There are a million ways to have the welcoming, hospitable heart of Jesus and it doesn’t require a house to do it. A heart of true hospitality helps a person find their home in Jesus.
“Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’” John 14:6
True Hospitality | The Pineapple Porch