Welcome: We are gathered
The Church is a Noun, Verb and Adjective / Romans 12:9–21
• That is the nature of living in the world. We don’t get picked for teams, we feel left out of conversations or plans. We feel like we don’t belong.
• The good news is Christ has come for those who have felt left out. HE has come to invite us in. He created the church to be a place where people are invited to take part, where people are invited to belong. There is always plenty of room under the tent of Christ. And He has called the church to go out and invite others in.
Showing hospitality is trusting God for another person. We make room for them.
The practice of hospitality is honor. The self before another.
Romans 12:14–17 ESV
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all.
• These are hard things to do, in fact they can really only be done in the shadow of following Christ.
› The Church in Christ is called to love beyond what is comfortable for us to do. We need Christ already just in the practice of hospitality.
› To practice hospitality is to show honor through offering another your time, attention and recognition.
• Good Samaritan
• Someone asks Jesus who exactly his neighbor was. Who is the stranger among them?
Luke 10:29–37 ESV
But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.”
• How we treat others matters because we are called to pay attention and to be in proximity of the other. We are called to give our time attention and recognition to others.
The promise of hospitality is trusting God for another. The self before God
Romans 12:19 ESV
Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”
• One of the reasons we hold onto our anger with other people is because we feel like we need to be the ones who exact vengeance on another.
• We feel hurt, we feel slighted. And we feel like we are the ones who must make sure that person pays.
• Vengeance is a clenched fist.
• Attempting to exact vengeance on another for hurting us, trying to seek vengeance on your hurt will be like clenching your fist for the rest of your life
• Not only will you be exhausted but what happens to two parties exchanging vengeance after a period of time?
• Only when you can let go of that clenched fist can you begin to practice hospitality.
The purpose of hospitality is that it localizes the truths of God. The self in the world.
Romans 12:20–21 ESV
To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
• This is repeated from earlier but with a motive. Loving our enemies is overcoming evil with good. The action of hospitality shifts the needle toward goodness.
• Our hospitality is the foothold of the reality of God in the world.
• Hospitality allows us to show the goodness of God in the face of the world.
• Whether in our home or at church or work or on the street or in the store. Whatever space we find ourselves in we can slide over and make room for others.
The posture of true hospitality is found at the cross. Christ before the self.
Romans 5:6–8 ESV
For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Christ showed hospitality to us, giving us all of who He is for us. Loving us in such a way that He gave His life to save us from evil that encroaches.