Stranger Love

I know what you might be thinking.
(At least I think I do if you read the blog before this)
It's the same thing I have been thinking.

So we're supposed to just love random people?
We're supposed to open our home to people we don't know?
We're supposed to treat strangers like friends, like family?

Hospitality. It's a word you certainly heard before.
You most likely would define it as being warm and welcoming to others.
And to many, that sounds like a solid, thorough definition.
But the word used for "hospitality" in the Bible brings clarity the definition.

The word is sprinkled through the New Testament (Acts 28:7, Romans 12:13, 1 Timothy 12:13, etc.) The greek word used is made up of two words; one being the word "philos" which means someone dearly loved as a friend and the word "xenon" which means guest, foreigner, stranger.

Put that together and you get a poignant picture.
To be hospitable isn't just being welcoming and warm.
It's being welcoming and warm specefically to those on the outside.
Outside of your group, your tribe, your beliefs, your friends circle, your home.

Rosaria Butterfield's new book, The Gospel Comes with a House Key (which I highly recommend), is built on this premise as she writes that "radically ordinary hospitality is seeing strangers as neighbors and neighbors as family of God."

For most of us, I know for me, that is a steep progression.
Strangers as neighbors and neighbors as family of God.
But this is how we as Christians are called to operate.
We shouldn't settle for bottom shelf hospitality.
You know what I am talking about.
And I am guilty of bottom shelf hospitality.
But this blog isn't about condemning you.
It's about encouraging you.

Radically ordinary hospitality is seeing strangers as neighbors and neighbors as family of God
— Rosarie Butterfield

You can do this! It will be worth it!
Yes, it will be awkard at times.
Yes, it will be draining at times.
Yes, you will have to get out of your comfort zone.
You will have to get out of your home.
Or maybe you will have to open your home...

For our family, we are taking a page out of Rosaria's playbook.
We are committing to open our home at least one weeknight a week to anyone.
Customers from our coffee shop, neighbors we don't know, friends of friends.
Come as you who, whoever you are and share a meal with our family.
Open home. A seat at the table. Conversation. Listening. Laughs. Tears.
Hospitality. Specifically to people we might label as strangers.
Treating people we don't know like we've known them our whole lives.
That is the way of Jesus. Radical, ordinary, daily hospitality.

And hopefully over time these strangers will become neighbors.
And hopefully these neighbors will enter into the family of God.
It's not much. But it's not nothing either. It's a start.
We don't know what will happen. God can worry about that.
We're just going to make margin in our lives so we can live this out.

What can you do to be more hospitable to the strangers in your life?
Let us know by leaving a comment below!