Saturday, January 14, 2023

My First Read of 2023

"As believers in Jesus, we each have a calling on our lives to tell our faith stories, to "shine among them" like beacons of light to the world as we "hold firmly to the word of life" (Philippians 2:15-16). We are called to show compassion, to promote peace and to speak grace. We are encouraged to lean in, to hear people, to see people, to invest in relationships, and to build community with those around us. We are created to have fellowship with one another. We are commanded to love people well. We are exhorted to live lives that exemplify Christ's love and sacrifice for His beloved humanity. And in Romans 12:13, Paul told us one way we can do that is to "practice hospitality."

And this is what He does . . .

Fueled by His desire to make Himself known to the hearts of humanity, God takes our obedience, our yearning to be used by Him, and our longing to be joy in he world, and He turns our simple soup things into significant spiritual things. Did you catch that? Simple things become significant things. Soup things become spiritual things. We surrender our lives, we understand the significant impact of simple hospitality, we invite people in and ask God to move, to bring life change, to show off His heart of service and grace, and to be the one who receives applause.  

When we as God's people seek to use our homes and our holy welcomes to usher in the goodness of God and minister to those around us, the wonder of biblical hospitality takes place. We offer up whatever means God has given us to show the world the love of Jesus and the hope we've found in Him. We invite folks in, and we invest in them. We choose people over perfection. We brew unremarkable pots of coffee and serve bundt cakes that are better on taste than technique. And we let loose the Spirit of God to do whatever He purposes in the lives of those in our chairs, at our tables, and on our porches.

God takes small things and makes them significant things. He turns soup things into spiritual things. All we have to do is open our homes, invite people in and ask Him to."

- AMY NELSON HANNON

One of my goals in this new year is to make more time for reading, and I'm already off to a good start. I finished this book today, and was so blessed by it! If you are someone who has a desire to pursue biblical hospitality but struggles with feeling that your offerings are less than perfect, this book will encourage and uplift you. You'll even find a recipe for something to make and share tucked at the end of each chapter! It's a lovely read!

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