Becoming Come-At-Able

Acts 17:1-9

At the heart of hospitality is our shared humanity. All people share life together in some way. We are all wayfaring strangers. How can we neglect the opportunity, then, to afford someone the joy of feeling welcomed? At home–as much as we can be home in a world not our own? 

Hospitality doesn’t cure, but it heals. It’s there in the word. We can imagine the former ways of understanding the nature of a hospital. Hospitality also doesn’t solve dilemmas, but it can illuminate. As much as it is something you do, a way of neighboring with the person right in front of you, it is a manner of being.

The Christian heart should understand this attitude. God has welcomed us into God’s own world. Into the family of believers. Into communion with our Lord. That’s no minor invitation. The God of all Creation welcomes sinners to the table of grace and calls these guests friends. 

Even as nothing more than a reflection of God’s grace, hospitality is a central practice of discipleship. Our churches need to learn what it means to be welcoming together. To be come-at-able. We are come-at-able as we welcome those who come to our tables. When the tables of our hearts and fellowship open to our enemies and other strangers. 

Oh, hospitality can get you into trouble with your enemies and strangers, too. Ask Jason. We don’t know much more of him other than his willingness to welcome Paul and Silas as guests. Trouble or not, such a welcoming spirit always hosts the Lord of Hosts as well. 

And can’t hospitality be more than the present? When we welcome the memories of those gone before us, are we not making room for them with us now? Also, a mature faith looks beyond itself into the world we will leave for future generations. As we do, do we not set tables in preparation? Hospitality for shared humanity.

Our culture assumes reciprocity as our dictator. That what we can get from another person should determine our willingness to involve our lives with others. Central to the gospel, however, is welcoming loved ones, enemies and other wayfaring guests. 

Stay blessed…john

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John Fletcher

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