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Sunday: The Gift of Hospitality — 20 Comments

  1. I started my career as a computing lecturer many years ago as a part-time lecturer in evening classes in educational computing (this was back in the days of Apple II and Commodore 64 computers). I had three hours of lectures and workshops, split in half by a meal break. My students and I would go to the cafeteria for the meal and we would all sit around together eating and talking. It was in that environment that some of the most important learning experiences took place. No longer was I at the lectern with a pile of OHP slides as the fount of all knowledge. I was among a group of peers sharing experiences and understanding. My students were all high school teachers and the course was an in-service course. It wasn't about imparting knowledge but rather working toward a common goal of integrating computers into the classroom. The sharing of the meal together broke down the barriers and developed into a serious learning experience. (and the really good thing was that I was paid to do it!)

    There is something about eating together that encourages understanding. Interestingly, when you read about the early Christian Church you often read that they broke bread together. We sometimes put a religious spin on this to say they celebrated communion, but I think it was much more practical than that. They met in homes and what better way to share their spiritual experiences than to have a meal together? The early church was developed over shared meals.

    As Seventh-day Adventists, we often have so many barriers to eating with unbelievers that it becomes a logistical nightmare. I know that some of my non-Adventist relatives used to be scared spitless if we said we were coming for a visit. Perhaps that is something to think about as we face the challenge of sharing the Gospel.

    I know of several ministers whose work practice involves inviting and being invited by people to meals.

    • My concern, how can we reconcile eating holy and eating with unbelievers when they come to our house and eat, then we go to there house and not eat or be picky.

    • If you are talking about the Sabbath School Net format, the changes have been minimal and reflect that we have a different more automated workflow now. We are grateful for the work of volunteers in preparing the lessons in a web format. If you are missing something from the old format that you think is important, please let us know.

  2. Actually, Abraham bowes down to "All THree," men and calls them all "Lord." Then, after he kills a calf and feeds all the three men and they all eat and they all discuss the visitation of Abrahams' wife by them in a year to give her a son, they then all leave but only one stays to discuss the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah with Abraham. Personally, I believe that the three men were the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit in human form that visit Abraham etc.

    • Hi Brother Pete,
      I thought about that too, as I was reading the first part of Genesis chapter 18. But then, in verse 19, they called the other two, angels; so, I don't know. I guess this is going to be another one of those questions that we will have to wait and ask Them, the Godhead, when Jesus comes and takes us to Heaven. But it's good to see that we are thinking the same thing.

      Continue to have a Blessed week Everyone!!

    • That thinking of yours is so very good I thought about it too but, if u read the scripture u will understand that the Holy spiritual can’t be seen and that is why it is called 'SPIRIT' CHRIST was present and He was accompanied by Angels.

      • Hello Pete, my studies is 1 is Jesus, other 2 were angels, cause the 2 angels left to sodom and it says that Abraham reasoned with God (Jesus).

  3. I am so thankful that we serve a God who does not require wealth, status, ability, or skill for us to be called. He calls available ordinary people to do extraordinary things. May we see that hospitality is a gift and therefore as we freely receive Gods hospitality then we need to freely extend that hospitality to all. May we like the patriarch Abraham identify a need, and fulfill that need practically.

  4. I am missing the tab at the bottom of "todays" lesson to move forward to "tomorrows" lesson and ultimately on to the "mission story" on Friday. This quarter I have go go back to the main menu every time to move forward. Just a first world inconvenience. It was much easier before.

    • Thanks for the feedback. We will check that out. There are links after the daily lesson and just before the comments that appear to do that. Is that not what you mean?

  5. I have been in the hospitality business since ’91, welcoming ‘strangers’ to be our guests to enjoy our hospitality. I do not think that being ‘hospitable’ necessarily relates to conducting a lodging business as one can operate a lodging place and be an'un'hospitable person; it just would not last long. Being ‘hospitable’ to me means to be open to building godly relationships. John 15:12; Luke 6:31; Prov.17:17.

    Maybe circumstances have changed from the days of Abraham when most travelers traversing ‘in’hospitable’ areas of the land for days are ‘welcomed’ due to stress related to their travels. In our day and time, followers of Jesus Christ ought to consider anyone we come into contact with a 'visitor' to our 'sphere of presence', treating them kindly and welcoming.

    I consider travelers to be ‘visitors’ to our land. Though whether a person is a guest, visitor, or outright stranger, anyone has to determine within themselves how to treat them. Does one always extend a ‘welcoming and inclusive attitude that fosters human connection and a sense of belonging?’

    There is nothing worse than to experience an unhospitable place that is ‘cold’ – unwelcoming, unfriendly – populated by inhospitable people. If this happens to be a place were believers congregate, . . . . !? For me, showing true hospitality is the evidence of a loving, warm and welcoming heart that reaches out to bring folks out of the cold to God's 'hearth'.

    • I am still a student(pastor in making)but the hospitality that I grew up seeing from the SDA church members long ago sincerely is not there.1peter 4:9( be hospitable to one another without grumbling) What is happening back at our local churches is opposite, hospitality goes with fame or professional. I am 5 years old an SDA church member because of the hospitality that I was given by some elderly women in church when they invited me for a small collection.

      • I agree. I grew up in a Seventh-Day Adventist household that was known for inviting church members and guests to our home weekly. Souls that did not respond to an alter call at church were saved around our dinner table. Now, it seems that we have to be in the right clubs (ministries) and have a certain status to have that level of hospitality extended to us. I have had the unfortunate experience of ushers literally pushing me in my chest to tell me & my family to wait in the vestibule to be seated. During my youth, I left the church for a while. It was the hospitality of non-Seventh-day Adventist believers who loved me back into the church without judgment. It was a beautiful display of God's love welcoming me home. We need more of that kind of hospitality like what Paul offered during his ministry to the unchurched. We share the image of a loving Savior when we share kindness and hospitality with others.

  6. We used to belong to a smaller church where it was much easier to pick out the visitors (and we didn’t have other ministry obligations after service). My husband would seek them out and either invite them to our home for lunch (and very often it was just sandwiches—-nothing special) or invite them to sit with us in the fellowship hall for the congregational lunch. The gesture was welcomed by the guest who could have felt alone and ignored. Sometimes the guest was a Seventh-day Adventist believer, but often they were not and we had the opportunity to minister to them—sometimes in their deepest hour—-over a meal and friendly conversation. Especially when they came home with us. As Maurice described, the shared meal is a very simple but effective way to show hospitality and minister to the deepest needs of others.

  7. In all my 50 plus or minus years of my Seventh Day Adventist journey, "Hospitality," has been very much lacking among Church Members to say the least and even so among the "Elders," or even the "Deacongs," too. The only time that Church Members have any social times together is with "Social Meetings," about once a month or once a month for a Sabbath Church meal. But at anyone's home is very rare and if so it is because of a "Church Leader," to meet for discussing plans of actions for their leadership role.

  8. I remember when I was a child in our local church they used to introduce every visitor that has worship with us on that day, and after divine service I would see my father find one or two and take them to our home where we could have lunch togather and spend couples of hour speaking the word of God! The impact was great, Love, Love, Love! Where is that love!? Are the people afraid to take visitor to their home!? Why!? The world has changed some visitor are robbers we do not trust each other! Under that circumstance we need to listen to the voice of God so that he can tell us whom to invite and not

  9. This is more than about hospitality its about Abraham encounter with the manifested Lord as well, He had already spoke in a vision Gen 15:1, Abraham was expecting quest and that's why he ran and said Lord and bowed down. Gen 18:23 Abraham approached Him(Lord) asking will they destroy the righteous
    and the wicked. Gen 18:3 My Lord, if now I have frond favor in thy sight, pass not away I pray thee, from thy servant.

  10. Thanks
    Reading through yes our churches lacks practicing the love that we preach every day. Indeed we need to meet people after church to greet and share a word or two with people in church. Let’s revive that practice because it helps us to know each other.

  11. I learnt the “art” of hospitality from observing my parents being hospitable to all who arrived at our door, friend or stranger. Now, around our own table every Sabbath we have a group of people made up of young and older, regulars and visitors, and we have the most wonderful Sabbath time together until late afternoon when we pray together and the visitors leave. You cannot know people unless you interact with them on a personal level. During the week, we often have our neighbours in for breakfast, afternoon tea or dinner and that is also a great opportunity to welcome new neighbours, learn of their needs and be a true friend to them. Our Jesus met people where they were and ministered to them - that is our goal also.


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