Radical Hospitality

Hospitality

Hospitality: 1. the friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers.

Radical: 1. thoroughgoing or extreme, especially as regards change from accepted or traditional forms; favoring drastic political, economic, or social reforms

Radical Hospitality

Radical hospitality is the extremely generous personal and systemic reception and entertainment of guests, visitors or strangers.

Radical hospitality is a public as well as a personal theology that offers openness and generosity to the individual through charity as well as through systems of justice.  One without the other is an incomplete Christian theology.

But how can we do this?

Abundance

We do it out of abundance in both the personal and public realms.  For that is how we are to live through God – abundantlyThe thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. John 10:10 (ESV)

When we believe that there is not enough, we fail to recognize that when God is involved there is ALWAYS  more than enough. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish. The number of the men who had eaten was five thousand.  Mark 6:30-44 (NIV) 

The Israelites did as they were told; some gathered much, some little. And when they measured it by the omer, the one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little. Everyone had gathered just as much as they needed. Exodus 16 (NIV)

Do we believe that?

Will there be those who take advantage of our personal and/or public generosity?  More than likely but should all good works then be eliminated for the few who would challenge God’s abundance?

We must genuinely weigh the risk versus the gain.  The thief may come to steal, kill and destroy but how much generosity will be unexpressed if fear rules the day?  How many will go hungry, sick, unclothed, imprisoned for the few who instill fear in us?

Judgement

And what will God say to us at the last judgement?

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.

Or …

 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

“He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

“Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

2016 Olympics: Team Refugee

Olympics

Olympics Make History

For the first time in the history of the Olympics, a “refugee” team was formed to participate in the Games. This team was composed of athletes from Syria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia and South Sudan. Their host countries were Kenya, Brazil, Belgium, Germany and Luxembourg.

So who were these athletes competing for? Their home countries or their host countries?

Perhaps a little of both. Maybe they are especially competing for others like them in that in-between place they all find themselves in right now. Hopefully refugees around the world, can see, in seeing this team compete, that they can flourish too. They can hold onto their dreams and still make them come true. There is life beyond the harrowing journey they undertook with their families to make it to relative safety.

With so much anger and fear surrounding the idea of refugees in our respective countries, it is refreshing to see the refugee team receive a standing ovation from the crowded stadium during the opening ceremonies . How loved they must have felt!

Refugee Support

Dictionary.com defines “refugee” as, “a person who flees for refuge or safety, especially to a foreign country, as in time of political upheaval, war, etc.”

Immigrating to another country is hard enough if you choose to do so. Having to do it on the run because you are fleeing in desperation for your safety is difficult to imagine. Being welcomed by those to whom you are fleeing gives you the opportunity to finally catch your breath. To be able to then receive an offer to compete in the Olympics must restore your hope and faith that perhaps with a lot of work and help from on high, “normalcy” can return to your life.

Then you and the Levites and the foreigners residing among you shall rejoice in all the good things the LORD your God has given to you and your household. Deuteronomy 26:11 (NIV)

The examples of these athletes, the Olympic Committee and the people at the opening ceremonies is one we should emulate. Perseverance, remembrance and celebration of the refugees among us is what our God calls us to anyway. Who are the “refugees” among you who could use an outpouring of love?

Dear friend, you are faithful in what you are doing for the brothers and sisters, even though they are strangers to you. 3 John 5:5 (NIV)