As Christian households, we have been uniquely placed by God into our community to offer a welcoming invitation of hospitality, to reach out to those who have no place to go and to let them know there is room at the table for them. God first opened his doors and made room at the table […]
As Christian households, we have been uniquely placed by God into our community to offer a welcoming invitation of hospitality, to reach out to those who have no place to go and to let them know there is room at the table for them.
God first opened his doors and made room at the table for us. And now he invites us to extend that invitation to others, to break through the isolation and loneliness so prevalent in our culture today – and to do so with joyful hearts.
Inviting someone to eat with you doesn’t just have physical benefits. Eating with others can be a profoundly spiritual act when there is a focus on hospitality, community and mission, and when it is used as a way to express love. There is an opportunity to affirm your guest’s value and worth, as you demonstrate love and care toward them.
It is a time of generosity where hearts meet, love is passed on and received, what’s most important can gradually come to the surface, and where Jesus himself can enter people’s homes and hearts.
The Bible encourages a joyful relationship to eating that acknowledges the blessing of food. Eating together can be an act of worship, expressing thankfulness to God for his provision of food and community.
Gathering over a simple meal is one of the best ways to love people and invite them into a closer relationship with God. Eating together in most cultures is important for building, maintaining and developing deep connections. This is because when we eat together, we create a network of trust and kindness – sharing meaningful conversation and engagement. When we enact hospitality, we share what we’ve been blessed with – most importantly, the treasure we have in Jesus.
Hospitality is strong among the cultures where the recipes in the book Soul Food come from. Many of the LCA International Mission partner churches use gathering around a meal to strengthen their bonds of fellowship and to bring those who don’t yet have a relationship with Jesus, into his presence.
In Romans 12, we are told: ‘Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you … Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud but be willing to associate with people of low position.’
These verses indicate that hospitality is to be shown to both those who are God’s people and others who are still on the journey to him. It is a spiritual gift given by the Holy Spirit and, by God’s grace, is to be used to serve others.
As well as financially supporting ministry done through hospitality among LCA International Mission partner churches by ordering a copy of Soul Food, we hope and pray that you will use the recipes it contains from our partner churches’ home cultures to provide hospitality to those in your community.
This story was also published in the November 2021 edition of Border Crossings, the magazine of LCA International Mission.
The Soul Food recipe book is available to order for a donation of $20. For more information or to order your copy/copies, please contact Erin Kerber at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone +61 8 8267 7317.