Discover the Gift of Hospitality

Jul 2, 2024

Reading time: 4 Minutes

[As seen in the Christian Post] Home is a word we either love or wish we did. It is different than “house.” It’s less of a transactional encounter and evokes an invitation to be cared for and made comfortable. Perhaps it’s that same care and comfort that make hospitality such a profoundly impactful practice.


In the book of Romans, the apostle Paul urged believers to practice and pursue hospitality. Romans 12:13 says, “Share with the saints in their needs; practice hospitality.” Paul himself experienced the value of hospitality firsthand. After all, Aquila and Priscilla welcomed him into their home and worked together in business with him while they were all in Corinth.


Hospitality is more than a command, however. It’s a gift. And like any gift, there’s blessing to be had for both the giver and the receiver. Let’s examine both sides of the beautiful gift of hospitality.


Hospitality: A Gift to the Guest


I recently searched for why people choose Airbnb over a hotel room. Beyond the more practical answers of additional space or lower prices, it seems that many travelers yearn for more than merely a bed while they’re away. They want a place to spread out; they want familiar amenities. In short, they want the comforts of home.


That’s why hospitality is such a gift – it literally gives guests the gift of your home. Google’s Oxford Languages defines hospitality as “the friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers.” If everyone remains realistic and flexible, hospitality can lessen the cost of travel and provide a way for relationships to grow and flourish. What a gift!


Hospitality also offers the gift of service. A Medi-Share Board Member captured this enigma in a recently shared message in one of our Wednesday morning chapel services. He spoke of how the person or family offering hospitality – whether it was a party, an overnight visit, or holiday celebration – held all the power and authority. It was their house and they made all the decisions from when the guests would arrive to what they would have available to eat.


The hosts could say “enough!” and throw everyone out whenever they wished. However, what hosts are most noted for is the way they serve. They clean the house, many times prepare or order the food, make beds, and create at least some sort of schedule so people know what to expect. The greatest impact is made by the way and in the spirit that the host of the home, serves their guests.


After He rose from being dead, Jesus cooked His disciples breakfast. Let that sit with you a minute. He had it prepared on the beach for them after they spent an unsuccessful night fishing. The miraculously risen Messiah not only cooked it, He also served it to them. (John 21:13) The Eternal, in a commonplace encounter of hospitality, received them. How great a gift!

guest bed with sun shining in

Hospitality: A Gift to the Host


Today, my daughter and I are measuring her bedroom floor for a queen-size blow-up mattress that we borrowed for guests arriving this weekend. To be honest, a part of me wonders why we do this so often. It feels like we’ve had more guests in our home than there are Walmarts in America.


And yet, despite the extra effort, our family has truly learned to view hospitality as a gift – not just to our guests but to us. It’s kind of ironic how my introverted husband enjoys cooking for an old claw-footed table filled with people. We’ve found that an unplanned pleasure materializes as we work to create comfy sleeping spaces and plan menus for pending guests.


That pleasure began several years ago as we hosted picnics for our whole church family in our backyard. Our journey eventually included inviting and living with many children in out-of-home placement as we were licensed foster parents and later, having a few young adults live with us for extended periods of time. As we opened our very imperfect home and lives, we realized how great of a need there was for others to benefit from something so ordinary. And in the process, we were witnesses and humble participants to God filling those needs and blessing needy people. What an extraordinary gift.




Practicing hospitality is a biblical command, but also a God-given gift. What are some of the ways you enjoy practicing hospitality? Let us know in the comments; sharing ideas is one way to encourage each other to “excel still more” in the area of hospitality.

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