Sunday, September 02, 2007

Hospitality Today

Welcome to our latest College level course on Hospitality. Some of you may be used to receiving a syllabus on the first day of classes and are looking for some sort of class schedule. Today we are going to start with an introduction, and as an upper level class I am expecting you to go out and do some fieldwork. There will be no papers, tests, or other grading materials. At least none that I am qualified to administer.

Many of you have lived the first introductory level courses in hospitality this summer. Some of you even have graduate degrees, with some post doctorate work in the field, and have taken this course as a refresher. I would be foolish to pretend that I am telling you anything new. All I am hoping to do is provide a scriptural context and maybe throw in a few nuggets to help you as your carry on in your ministry.

For those of you who have never hosted a gathering before, or been the primary caretaker for another person or situation we will spend some time this afternoon in projects to aid your introduction to Christian Action. Doing so, we will also have a chance to discover once again the grace that comes from God, providing the impetus, or driving force for our ministry.

Today we are going to be giving away Bibles at Del Rosa UMC, and we will be helping out one of our sister organizations at the School of Hope in meeting some demands that might otherwise go undone, providing continued support for persons with developmental disabilities. The Bibles are the word of God and the source of our inspiration for doing ministry. So let us go to the text to see what God reminds us is the chief aim of Christian Action, and Hospitality Today.

Hebrews 13
Concluding Exhortations 1Keep on loving each other as brothers. 2Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it. 3Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.
4Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. 5Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." 6So we say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?"
7Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. 8Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
9Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings. It is good for our hearts to be strengthened by grace, not by ceremonial foods, which are of no value to those who eat them. 10We have an altar from which those who minister at the tabernacle have no right to eat.
11The high priest carries the blood of animals into the Most Holy Place as a sin offering, but the bodies are burned outside the camp. 12And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood. 13Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore. 14For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come.
15Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that confess his name. 16And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. 17Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.

Luke 14
Jesus at a Pharisee's House 1One Sabbath, when Jesus went to eat in the house of a prominent Pharisee, he was being carefully watched. 2There in front of him was a man suffering from dropsy. 3Jesus asked the Pharisees and experts in the law, "Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath or not?" 4But they remained silent. So taking hold of the man, he healed him and sent him away.
5Then he asked them, "If one of you has a son or an ox that falls into a well on the Sabbath day, will you not immediately pull him out?" 6And they had nothing to say.
7When he noticed how the guests picked the places of honor at the table, he told them this parable: 8"When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. 9If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, 'Give this man your seat.' Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place. 10But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, 'Friend, move up to a better place.' Then you will be honored in the presence of all your fellow guests. 11For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."
12Then Jesus said to his host, "When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. 13But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous."

What does Christian Action require< according to these texts:
-Keep on loving each other
-Entertain Strangers
-Remember those in prison, as if you were their fellow prisoner
-Remember the mistreated, as though you were mistreated
-Honor marriage, keeping the marriage bed holy
-Say with Confidence, "The Lord will never leave you or forsake you, for what can man do to you?"
-Remember your leaders, imitate their faith, obey their authority and submit that it may go well for all of you.
-Be strengthened by grace
-Go to Jesus outside the camp, remembering his disgrace
-Offer God a sacrifice of praise
-Do good and share with others, even unto sacrifice
-Heal one another's wounds
-Take a lesser place, that you might be exalted, rather than an exalted place and humbled
-Invite not your friends, but strangers to meals, the poor the crippled, the lame and blind, you will be blessed.



Post a Comment

<< Home