The Christian Practice of Hospitality
A Sermon on Hospitality
A Christian practice is a response to the grace we have experienced in Christ in light of the Word and work of God and for the sake of one another in the world. Practices are at the heart of human communities and sustain them. Christine Pohl takes a look at three biblical scenes of the Christian practice of hospitality, 1) being a stranger, 2) planting a garden, and 3) throwing a party. She sketches a biblical vision of hospitality in which Christians see themselves as strangers and aliens who are still called to be settled in this world, and especially to invite and to welcome those who are most alienated. Jesus himself modeled this sort of hospitality which inverts cultural expectations. We should not hold too tightly to this world, but settle down and invest, inviting the uninvited into our lives.
Christine Pohl is Associate Provost and Professor of Church and Society/Christian Ethics at Asbury Theological Seminary. She received a B.S. in Special Education at Syracuse University, 1972; a M.A. in Theological Studies, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, 1986; and a Ph.D. in Ethics and Society at Emory University, 1993. Dr. Pohl is the author of several books including Making Room: Recovering Hospitality as a Christian Tradition (Eerdmans, 1999). She has recently completed a book entitled Living into Community: Cultivating Practices that Sustain Us (Eerdmans, 2011).