Hospitality empowers the moneyed and the meager to use goods for the good of others and the glory of God. Henri Nowen identifies it as one of the most important customs for followers of Jesus to recover: “If there is any concept worth restoring to its original depth and evocative potential, it is the concept of hospitality.”[i]
In fact, Christine Pohl finds that for centuries hospitality was responsible for much of the spreadibility and credibility of the gospel.[ii] Christians stood out because they not only welcomed friends, family and those with the means to repay. They also embraced the sick, the poor and those without the ability to reciprocate. In addition, Christians regularly received those whom others rejected, especially those of different moral, ethnic and social backgrounds. Hospitality thus offered Christians a design for sharing the gospel with their lives and a doorway for sharing the gospel with their lips.
[i] Henri Nowen, Reaching Out: The Three Movements of the Spiritual Life (Image, 1975), 66.
[ii] Christine D. Pohl Making Room: Recovering Hospitality As a Christian Tradition (Eerdmans, 1999), 6-7.