Day 2 Hospitality is From the Heart
My people will abide in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places (Isaiah 32:18, ESV).
By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches (Proverbs 24:3-4, ESV).
Now therefore may it please you to bless the house of your servant, so that it may continue forever before you. For you, O LORD GOD, have spoken, and with your blessing shall the house of your servant be blessed forever (2 Samuel 7:29, ESV).”
Peace be within your walls and security within your towers (Psalm 122:7, ESV)!”
Have you ever been away and had a burning desire for the comfort of your own home? I’ve longed for the feel of my cool bedsheets and the gentle breeze of my ceiling fan. I miss my favorite chair where I spend my morning devotion time with the Lord, and my favorite cup of coffee. I miss the people I love and the sweet, crazy, needy dogs that captured my heart. I know the sounds of my home and the smell—that to me, is just right! It isn’t featured in Southern Living, but it’s mine and I love it.
Home isn’t really about the aesthetics, it’s about comfort and familiarity. It’s a place we run to for solace. Size isn’t what makes it special, and neither does the design. It’s a feeling—creating security and rest in our spirits. Some houses are not homes. They are cold, uncaring and maybe even painful places to be. They conjure up memories that hurt, and are not a place we long for. These houses are missing the foundation of love. My heart hurts for those who don’t have a respite in their houses, and long for something better.
As Christians, we want our homes to be a place that reflects the love and caring heart of Jesus. We want it to be a place people love to pass their time. When I think of home at Christmastime, I think of the warm glow of the tree, the soft flickering of candlelight and the wonderful scent of cinnamon, pine and spices. There is bustle and fun as well as rest and peacefulness. This is one place we can share hospitality with others. It’s a place people can rest their souls and feel warmed and welcomed by our cheer. It won’t matter if your home is a little messy and your cookies are a little overdone. If your wrapping paper isn’t Pinterest perfect, no one will really notice. Because it’s not about all of that—it’s about the spirit of the family living within its walls, and when their spirits reflect the love of Christ, it’s a beautiful, happy place to be.
We can get caught up in thinking our home isn’t good enough. We may even feel inferior because someone else has something better. But we need to be thankful for what we do have, and offer its walls as a safe, comfortable place to not only those we love, but also to strangers. Invite people to come in. Feed them what you can—even if it’s a simple cup of coffee and a few cookies. But remember that the real value is in the conversation—in opening your hearts to one another. Allow others to see Who leads your home, and appreciate the easy comfort of having Him at the foundation of it.
If your house has become too significant to you, and you find yourself pouring all of your effort into decorating and cleaning, consider the importance of what you may be forgetting. Just as our salvation rests on the firm foundation of Jesus and His work on the cross, our homes also need that same foundation. Investing in the heart of our homes is more valuable than investing in the beauty of our homes. Let’s not forget that what’s most important isn’t how impressive our tree looks, or how inviting our dinner table is. Instead, remember the value of Christ being at the center, and how that naturally draws warmth, safety and peace into our homes. Because a home that is truly centered on Christ will be noticed. People will want to come back. So, throw the doors open and don’t allow the outward state of your home to deter you. Share the love of Jesus with those who walk through the doors, and show yourself hospitable, knowing that when you do, you are living out the example of Jesus for others to see.