July 2, 2017 – Generous Hospitality
Preacher: Rev. Scott Strickman
Luke 14:12-14 (ESV)
12 He said also to the man who had invited him, “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. 13 But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14 and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”
By addressing reciprocity in relationships Jesus transforms hospitality and makes hospitality something that transforms us.
I) Hospitality is transformed
- v12 “do not invite…” – what is your response to these words?
- key word: repaid (appears 3x) – Jesus roots relationships in generosity
II) Transformation happens through hospitality
- v14 “you will be blessed” – because they cannot repay you? (lifestyle of the just)
- receiving God’s welcome renews us, and within that paradigm God works transformation through our acts of hospitality
Questions for Reflection
- How do you feel when someone gives something to you or does something nice for you? Is there any sense of indebtedness or feeling of obligation to return? What is sufficient return/payback when someone does something for you – is “thank you” enough? Is there more you feel you should do? Is your desire to return kindness rooted in generosity, or something else (sense of obligation, feeling of indebtedness, etc.)?
- When Jesus says “don’t invite your close friends or family to a banquet”, how do you engage that statement? Do you dismiss it quickly assuming it is hyperbole? Do you feel your task is to only associate with difficult people who you otherwise wouldn’t naturally want anything to do with? How can you take the time to wrestle more deeply with the challenging teachings of Jesus like this one so that you are transformed by his way of thinking?
- You are called to live generously. Are there guidelines to make sure your hospitality and generosity are wise? What limitations are honorable, and what boundaries are appropriate and in line with what Jesus is teaching?
- How can you be more proactive about hospitality? Are there people (or groups or types of people) that you tend to ignore or avoid? Is there a way that you can welcome others so that they more quickly become part of our church community? How can you step out of your comfort zone to extend a welcome to strangers (or those who are “strange” to you)?