Today's post is about hospitality. The following text is a sermon in itself---no need to come up with 'points'---just read this and say a prayer. DONE---
9 Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. 10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. 11Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. 13 Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. 17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord." 20To the contrary, "if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head." 21Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Romans 12:9-21 show
Today I'm thankful for these two people. These are my parents---Barbara & Harold O'Chester. Of course, one has to be thankful for the people who brought you into the world, cared for you, cheered for you, etc. I'm at their house today. When I was growing up, we always had "extra" people at our Thanksgiving table--not just family. We always had Thanksgiving with another family in Austin. Our extended family was far away and we weren't able to get there for Thanksgiving---they were in the same predicament, so they always had dinner with us. But my mom's house was always open to others, too. If you were alone on Thanksgiving and she heard about it, she would expect you to be around our table. We have done the same thing at our home---I love having "extras" around the table. There's always PLENTY of food---that's for sure. My mom's desire to have people over developed a strong sense of hospitality in me. I don't think this is a "giftedness" in my mom as much as it was a compassion for others---the desire that you not be alone on special days. I hope I have instilled that in my own children--I would have a table full every year at any holiday. I am so grateful for parents who instilled this in me. It wasn't something they "tried" to do---it was one of the things I absorbed. My sister Shannon has organized her neighbors to prepare a Thanksgiving feast for the police department in her town this year---the WHOLE department! A couple of years ago she did this for the fire department. Now, she does live in a smallish town and the department isn't huge, but still, it's a testament to her hospitality that she would think of these who have to work on a "family holiday" and organize this dinner. My oldest sister, Jennifer just made a HUGE fajita feast for all the administrators at her school. Her department could have ordered pizza or something simple, but she wanted to make it special. I'd like to think that the three of us have this heart because of the beautiful example of my parents. I am grateful today for numerous things about my parents, but this is the one I'm highlighting today. I hope your Thanksgiving is filled with family and friends and that you take a moment to have a grateful heart today---no matter what your year has been like, there is SO much to be thankful for. Remember the words of Paul to the Romans---and show hospitality.