Christmas advertisements immediately bombard phones, laptop screens, televisions, and print media the day of Thanksgiving. The season only lasts a month, so every brand establishes their place in the market with haste.
All the sale signs and colorful commodity shout for a shopper’s attention. However, with so many friends, families, coworkers, church members, and more, how can a person have enough funds for it all?
We’re often so stressed about making loved ones feel important that we forget a simple truth: some of the best gifts are often inexpensive.
They don’t even come in wonderfully wrapped packages. Instead, they come from the warmth of a cheerful heart. Hospitality is one of those often overlooked treasures.
Look around you––some people don’t have a place to go or a family to spend Christmas with. College students. Singles. Widows. The homeless person you drive past on the way to work.
Several of these people spend Christmas sitting alone in their house or living space because they’re afraid to reach out in fear of imposing themselves upon another person.
Yes, hospitality could technically cost a bit if you count refreshments, drinks, and the meal. However, you don’t have to buy an actual gift––and, if you do, a simple chocolate bar can suffice.
The person will most likely appreciate love and thoughtfulness more than a monetary memento.
Hospitality is even a spiritual gift that the church doesn’t devote much attention to––but it’s important, especially during the holiday season.
Jesus told one of the Pharisees, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid.
But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous” (Luke 14:12-14).
Looking at this, it’s clear Jesus values intentionality––the act of reaching out toward others who aren’t on our radar with genuine hearts.
Caring for others reaps eternal rewards, but it also demonstrates Christ’s love, which many people in this world need.
Make a list of people your family could host for the holidays. If you already have many hungry kids, just invite one or two people: the thought counts more than a number. Welcome them with open arms, and treat them as if they were really part of the family.
It’s a great lesson for both adults and children. Even more, let the kids invite someone from school or church that might need a place to stay.
Maybe someone just lost a loved one and needs meals delivered.
Perhaps another person is sick and lying in bed at a hospital. In that case, visiting their residence is also a form of hospitality.
All in all, don’t exclude love for just your family. Think of others in the community and show them the same love God showed us.