Devotional: Practicing Hospitality

Be hospitable to one another without complaining. Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received. 1 Peter 4:9-10 NRSV

Every day experiences could be spiritual lessons unfolding before our eyes, if we notice. Ordinary and practical things may subtly demonstrate spiritual lessons. Driving to work today I noticed a lesson in practicing hospitality.

Driving in a city requires skill and good manners. Today as I was driving on the highway, a car was trying to merge left and I moved over one lane to the left to allow a car to merge from the access road into the highway. I could have sped past but it has become a learned response to make a way for someone merging to access the roadway. Moving over one lane is an expression of hospitality on the highway. If a vehicle does not see my vehicle and tries to occupy the same space on the highway, it becomes necessary to slow down and make allowance for them to merge or to speed up and drive past them. Life is too precious to have a fight on the road with other vehicles over who deserves to win the space in front of me. Hospitality.

Practicing hospitality involves allowing others to have their preferred seat at the table, to offer access to their preference of snacks between meals, to notice their request for assistance, and to answer their call light in a timely manner. Practicing hospitality involves a motivation of genuinely caring about others. Just now I heard a call light ringing in the hallway as I sat here typing this devotional thought… Would I ignore the call light while I was writing about hospitality? No. One of our residents wanted me to reach something for her that she could not reach. My pleasure. Hospitality.

Prayer: O Lord, help us to grow in our ability to offer hospitality in both small and significant ways. Grant us new ways of seeing others, ways of valuing others, ways of loving others, ways of noticing and responding to needs. Whether we are in our facilities, on the roadways, or in our neighborhoods, God help us to practice hospitality in new and creative ways. Amen.