The summer following my senior year of High School I had the amazing privilege of going on a six-week mission trip to the Philippines. Every day, each team of seven students traveled via bus and then jeep to a small impoverished village that welcomed us as their family; as brothers and sisters in Christ. They were grateful for the encouragement, anxious to worship together and dive into God’s Word.

One day I was invited into the home of a young girl God had given me the privilege of introducing to the saving grace and unconditional love of Jesus. And what made it even more special and something I will never forget was that her name was Lynette! Before entering her home, one of the Filipino leaders had told me when I was offered something to drink I should drink all but the last ounce. Drinking less than that would show a lack of gratitude and finishing the beverage would rudely be saying, “give me more!” This cultural hospitality that was being offered made sense to me and I was grateful to be made aware of the unspoken rules before I had the opportunity to offend my hosts.

Third John talks about the impact that we as Christians can have on the community of faith when we welcome fellow believers and extend hospitality in a way that encourages them to persevere. A cold “unfinished” beverage from a family of little means encouraged me to keep going and share the love of Jesus in an unfamiliar culture that at times I struggled to embrace. It causes me to wonder about what cultural hospitality rules we place on those who walk through our own doors. Culture is something to be celebrated and yet how that culture is communicated can either invite or offend.

Who are you reaching out to with warm and welcoming hospitality? Or who has invited you into their home in order to encourage and support you? Do you do so with a desire to learn about other people’s traditions? Or is there something inside trying to prove that your way is better? If we would only offer hospitality in a way that keeps our focus on Jesus, then all of the traditions become areas of delight rather than areas of scrutiny. Culturally diverse hospitality is something to be celebrated! – especially when the focus of the time together is centered around Jesus.

Lynette Fuson
Care & Counseling Director

Subscribe to the Daily Fill