Please don't refresh this page.
We are submitting all your information.

This takes few seconds.
It will redirect after submission.

A Sweet Taste of Hospitality

by MADONNA MAURER HOSPITALITY Reflecting God Connecting with nationals
A Sweet Taste of Hospitality
“Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.”
Psalms 34:8

My daughter with special needs and I arrived at the train station too early to board the train; too late to buy lunch and eat it outside. So, we found a bench and I pulled out a banana I had packed in my purse. This should tie her over until we can board and then eat. Next to us, two families from India circled around with their children. My daughter began to sign “beautiful” to the moms and I translated for her. They smiled and thanked her while they busily passed out pink plastic bowls and spoons to everyone. The husbands spooned out rice. Next thing I knew, I was handed a bowl of curry rice. I tried to refuse, but they insisted they had brought too much and that we should eat it. Of course, it was simply delicious. 

This small act of kindness from strangers made me think about hospitality. And honestly what does it mean for me as a Christian living in my host country of Taiwan? Jesus showed hospitality by feeding thousands when they were hungry and needed food (Luke 9:10-17). He listened to children and attended to the needs of many strangers (Luke 18:15-17). But he was also the guest of dinner parties (Luke 14:1-23). And on one occasion he invited himself to stay at a tax collector’s home (Luke 19:1-10).  

Jesus was both host and guest. Hospitality is not about food and the home. I think it’s about looking up and seeing the needs of those around you. Like the sweet family from India who offered a woman and her adult child a simple bowl of curry rice. I also think it is about conversations and listening. And maybe this is why this moment in time has brought questions around the word “hospitality”. You see my focus was on my daughter and keeping her occupied. It was on the clock and making sure we didn’t miss the train. It was not on making conversation with these two sweet families, pointing them to Christ. They may have been Christians, but I have no idea because my focus was on me. Maybe not all conversations need to be the full gospel or even lengthy, but like a bowl of rice isn’t a full meal, there should always be something that can offer a taste of the Lord’s goodness. 

Closing Prayer
Thank you, Jesus for giving us a perfect example of hospitality — Your life of seeing those around you and having compassion on them while you were living here on earth. But also, for seeing and having compassion on us; drawing us to you because of your goodness and love. Help us to live our lives being hospitable to those we meet, whether we invite them to our table, are invited to theirs, or just offered a bowl of rice outside a train station. Help us see. Help us listen. And may our conversations direct people toward the goodness that only comes from You. Amen.
Book: The Gospel Comes with a House Key: Practicing Radically Ordinary Hospitality in Our Post-Christian World by Rosaria Champagne Butterfield This book left me looking at hospitality in a whole different light. It challenged me to look past my cultural thoughts about hospitality and it has compelled me to look for ways to incorporate this into my daily life.
Question for Reflection

We usually think of practicing hospitality by inviting people over to our home for a meal. What are some other ways you have seen, experienced, or practiced yourself that looked a little different?

MaDonna Maurer
September 13, 2023

We had a friend in our church who was in the hospital for several weeks during the summer. I worked with the family asking about meals, dietary restrictions and schedules. Then I formed a meal plan so others could sign up and deliver meals to the hospital. It gave us all a chance to serve our friends in their time of need.