Tomorrow is Christmas Eve. Can you believe it? These short December days go so swiftly.
I’m excited to celebrate the birth of my Savior with my four favorite guys in our beautiful church, on our spectacular mountain, but I am also already thinking about the New Year.
It is about this time that I get sort of giddy thinking about the new me that I will surely become in the months ahead –slim, healthy, a loving and volunteering banshee. Oh I’m just going to kill it in the new year! It is only due to my unremitting optimism that I can once again get excited about my future success when in fact I have a decades-long record of failing. But, hope springs eternal. This is MY year!
That said, I am making one resolution for 2017, and one resolution only. I am going to up my game in terms of hospitality. I am going to host more dinner parties. I’m not talking fancy shmancy dinner parties. That’s not my style. I’m talking about hosting brunch after church on Sundays, casual dinners, drinks and appetizers like I did last week, and maybe even delivery pizza and a simple salad. My goal is to do more of it, not to stress about details that after the fact no one cares a wit about.
The Bible is unambiguous about the role hospitality should play.
Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire. Let brotherly love continue. Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels. Hebrews 12:28- 13:2
Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 1 Peter 4:9
We ought therefore to show hospitality to such people so that we may work together for the truth. 3 John 1:8
These passages make it clear that hospitality is an important contribution to God’s Kingdom and an act of obedience. Of course, like everything else in life, obedience leads to fulfillment, contentment, peace and a greater love for God. George MacDonald put it as succinctly as anyone ever could: “Obedience is the key to every door.” As I’ve written many times, Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s explanation of this principle in The Cost of Discipleship is one of my favorite spiritual lessons. Can you picture in your mind’s eye a self-reinforcing circle? At the top is faith/love/belief and at the bottom is obedience. The more you believe, the more you obey, the more you obey, the more you love and believe. You can choose to hop on the wheel at at any point. You can choose to obey even when you don’t feel like it, or you can choose to believe. Either one will get the ball rolling.
One way I’m jumping on this whirling ball of blessing in 2017 is to host dinner parties. So, to quote that lovely old song by Rosemary Clooney, Come On-A My House!
I hope you and yours have a lovely Christmas and a festive New Year!