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  • Writer's pictureK. Jacob Vang

The Image Behind Hospitality



Bad Hospitality


When I think about hospitality, and perhaps you do too, my mind often goes to the service industry, specifically restaurants. I cannot help but recount the numerous occasions I’ve dined at restaurants to where our server had seemingly forgotten about us. If you know me, there’s always an itch to quench my thirst after every bite. There’s been times when I didn’t eat my meal for 10 minutes, with no waiter in sight, because I just really needed water. Or maybe your waiter had an attitude that made you forget about your faith for a second.  Now you’re thinking a tip of 5% is too high. Lord, forgive us. The real tragedy is that many times the food itself was good! But because the service of the restaurant had left such a bad taste in our mouths, we think a couple of things as a result, whether intentionally or not:


  1. The food was worse than it probably was.

  2. We’re not coming back.

  3. We’ll tell the bad news that service there was horrible.


Most people have one chance to make an impression, and most people only need one fault to not interact with that person again. And your willingness to serve, to be hospitable, is to be at the forefront of who you are as a follower of Christ, especially to strangers and those who are in need. Why? Because it is what people will see first. It is what people will hear first. 


Your Call into Hospitality


Your sense of hospitality speaks into what is in your heart. As such, we cannot respect a pastor who preaches the Truth to his congregation in hopes of sanctifying their souls for our Lord but ignores or turns his face away from the strangers of the world. What hypocrisy! And as we minister unto others, we are not exempt from this. These strangers desperately need the Truth just as much as the 80-year-old saint who’s attended church their whole life. Do not let circumstance become a deterrent to what we are called to do (Titus 1:8, 1 Peter 4:9). Remember that we were once strangers to the truth at one point. Name any pastor that you revere. They were strangers to the Truth of God at one point in their lives as well. But because someone had invited you to their home, their church, or to their place of solitude in the neighborhood cafe, you were able to witness a glimpse of who Jesus was through the actions of saints. In doing so, they had invited you into their lives! And not just any life, a true life that has been risen from the dead! What a glimpse that is! A glimpse of who our Lord Jesus is! To be served and met is something that we all know to warm our souls. It warms the heart of stone. And in serving, we are most like Christ, showcasing the goodness to which He brings to unregenerative souls!


If you're like me, you need some starting points to get going. Here are three ways you can practice biblical hospitality in your everyday life.


  1. Remember that your work life and "christian life" are not separate! Your life, in every facet, is to be for God's glory. You're a follower of Christ no matter what the situation is or where you are placed. You don't have to necessarily extend an invitation to a new coworker into your home right away, although you most certainly can, but consider having them eat with you at the lunch table in your office to begin with.

  2. There are many college students and young people who come in and out of our church and perhaps the same is for you. This is a great opportunity to get to know these young people who most definitely are trying to understand who they are and where they are going in life and speaking from my own experience, a nice homemade meal or being gifted an outing to a restaurant often leaves me feeling appreciated and loved.

  3. Thirdly, and one that Hmong people love exercising already, you can be hospitable to friends and family who are visiting from out-of-state. Visiting places you're not too familiar with can be very uncomfortable and even create some anxiety. But, being able to host these people can be such a blessing to ease their worries, make them feel comfortable, and of course, an opportunity to showcase and speak of God's love.


The Image Behind Hospitality


So this is our charge as followers of Christ, to bear the image of Christ (1 Corinthians 15:49, Matthew 5:1416). As we are in our homes, at work, taking public transportation, or eating at a restaurant, you have an opportunity to speak life into those around you. As John Piper said, “You have the most important thing to say in that room!”, as he was charging us to be bold and confident in the truth of the Gospel! For the love you have found is one that is to be shared and being hospitable to your fellow brothers and sisters and just as important, strangers in your life, is one of the first means to do so. We may not always be the reason why someone came to Christ, but we should not be the reason why they have not yet seen or heard of Christ. With that being said, practice what Christ has! You are given opportunities to serve. So, in joyful obedience, let’s serve in our hospitality. We do this all to point others to the beauty and knowledge of Christ. We want people to then do the following as a result:


  1. Taste the goodness of the Gospel in its fullness

  2. Have people consistently come to the local church

  3. Tell others in their life of the Good News and how beautiful it is



Rid ourselves of our own selfish desires and allow us to live for you, Lord. We thank you for your goodness in all things and we are grateful for being able to be used for your glory and kingdom. Amen.


 

Jacob Vang has been a part of Covenant City Church since 2020 where he has taken upon many opportunities in the church to serve and grow. He enjoys engaging in C3's Eldership Track, Bible studies, and discipleship groups where he has fostered a love for teaching and reading God's Truth. Jacob attributes his introduction of the love for the knowledge of Truth to his father who was diligent in studying God's Word. 


When he is not communing with the church, you can find Jacob spending time with his beautiful wife and pursuing his career in aviation. And, when he is on a roadtrip, he prefers to listen to John MacArthur sermons more than anything else.

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