#digzpc : Hospitality

March 16, 2014 | Pamela Ackerman

I find the word “Hospitality” a little intimidating. What comes to mind is an elegant gathering in a picturesque home where the perfect hors d’oeuvres are served on silver trays. Classical music floats through the air as people speak softly and laugh politely.  Hospitality, simply put, is not one of my gifts and so picturing it in action is a little difficult for me.  But, regardless of what a gathering in someone’s home may actually look like, I believe God calls us to connect with people in other ways, not solely in a controlled environment where we have decided what things will look like and who will participate.

Jesus connected with all sorts of people wherever he went.  Some of his interactions developed into relationships, as with the disciples, Lazarus, Mary and Martha. Other connections were quick encounters that, at times, proved to be life-changing, as with the woman at the well and the woman who had been bleeding for twelve years.   

My hometown church has a sign over their door as you leave the service which says, “You are now entering your mission field”. While I love to travel to other countries and serve others for Jesus, our mission as Christians is to love people: to encourage them and bring them hope, all for Christ, right where we are.

What does that look like for me? I ask God to help me shine Him, to be His light and life to others each day.  Then, when I go out, I greet pretty much everyone with whom I come into contact: the convenience store clerk, the restaurant worker, the older woman sitting on a bench at Wal-Mart, the teen waiting for a ride home from church. I ask them how their day is going. If it’s going great, I’ll be happy for them.  If not, I’ll let them know I’ll be praying for them.  It’s not the words that make the difference in these minute encounters. What touches others is that someone took the time to ask and truly care about their response.

In thinking of how Jesus ministered to and cared about everyone, what might this look like for you? What suggestions do you have for others? How would you like to challenge yourself in this area?  #digzpc

#digzpc is the title of ZPC's Lenten series about spiritual practices. We encourage you to make comments about your experience with the practice of the week, which is simplicity this week. Also find us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, if you participate in these media. When commenting there, please always use #digzpc so we can find your comments. Are you ready to dig?