Conversation Starters: Hospitality
Posted by Karah
THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: The best parties have little to do with food or activities. They’re about the people. Think back to your favorite celebration and you’ll likely be flooded with memories of friends and family. Maybe you received an awesome gift, but the memories have more to do with people than the stuff you received. Life is meant to be shared. Hospitality. Friendship. Fellowship. All these experiences point us to God’s kingdom. Jesus, who was constantly interacting with people over dinners and parties, teaches us we can use these moments to extend the kingdom of God to others.
LIFE POINT: Paul was a missionary (someone who goes and tells about Jesus). He and his friends traveled by boat to a big city. They wanted to tell people in the city about Jesus. Paul and his friends left the city and walked down to the river. A group of women were seated by the river. They had gathered to pray. Paul and his friends sat with the women and told them about Jesus. One of the women, named Lydia, sold purple cloth as her job. Lydia listened to what Paul said. She believed what Paul said about Jesus.
Lydia asked Paul and his friends to come to her house, and they did.
LIVE IT OUT: If your child is old enough, tell him to invite a friend to church. The friends can have a good time learning about Jesus together.
LIFE POINT: Paul and his friends traveled to Philippi. On the Sabbath, they looked for a place to pray with others. They went outside the city to the river. They found a group of women praying beside the river. Paul and the men with him sat down. Paul began to tell the women about Jesus. Lydia was a believer in God, but she needed to know about Jesus. Because Lydia and her family trusted Jesus as Savior, they were baptized.
Lydia said to Paul, “If you believe I have trusted Jesus, come and stay at my house.”
Paul and his friends went to her house to stay.
LIVE IT OUT: Challenge your child to memorize Deuteronomy 5:32. Tell him that knowing this verse and calling it to mind will help him follow Jesus’ example on how to
THE POINT: Hospitality is an easy way to show people Jesus. What do you enjoy most about having friends over? Talk about ways to make entertaining friends both memorable and meaningful. Discuss this quote:
“Hospitality . . . means primarily the creation of a free space where the stranger can enter and become a friend. . . . Hospitality is not to change people, but to offer them space where change can take place..”1 — Henri Nouwen
LIVE IT OUT: Your student is encouraged to do one or both Live It Out activities. Here are some suggested ways to help your student:
If he or she plans to complete Invite the Outcast:
• Talk with your student about the people who are considered outcasts in their circles—school, church, sports.
• Pray together, asking the Lord to give your student strength and courage to reach out to someone on the fringe.
If he or she plans to complete Switch It Up:
• List some practical ways that you as a family can be hospitable to those around you. After you’ve written out your ideas, make plans to carry them out.
1. Henri J.M. Nouwen, Reaching Out (New York: Doubleday, 2013), 71.