1st / 2nd July 2017

One of the nicest things in life is to meet an open, friendly, warm, hospitable person.
Hospitality is a hallmark of a true follower of Christ. After a long trying winter ends
all the neighbours in your street rejoice. They draw back their curtains open their
windows, fresh air, sunlight and warmth pour into their homes. ‘Thank God for spring!
Thank God for the sunshine!’, they exclaim.
Once I witnessed a humble beggar appearing in a street, he spotted open windows and
started knocking on every door – not one door opened to him. I remember thinking –
strange how our homes are always open to receive God’s sunshine and fresh air, but
not always open to receive a child of God, especially when he/she comes in poverty.
Christ urges us to be hospitable. Today is the day of locks, bolts, chains, peep holes,
alarm systems, dogs….Yet there is more need than ever for hospitality and friendliness.
In the world there is a lot of loneliness and there are lots of strangers, aliens, and
displaced people.
Christ calls us to welcome the strangers in our midst. To be hospitable does not mean
making them like us. It means accepting them as they are. This enables them to shed
their strangeness, and become members of the community.
This is the kind of spring we ourselves can cause to visit our homes and streets, a
spring which will banish from our midst the winter of mistrust, fear and hostility. For
followers of Christ, hospitality is not an optional extra. It is at the very heart of the
Gospel – to welcome the stranger is to welcome Christ.
Hospitality is not so much about open doors as about open hearts. There is a risk in
having an open heart. One can get hurt. But to open one’s heart is to begin to live. To
close it is to begin to die.
Every kind wish
Dean Peter