Radical hospitality begins with the gospel: the truth and grace of God to us in Christ Jesus. A baby born to a mother who found no space in the guest room. A wandering teacher who had nowhere to lay his head. A preacher of a kingdom of welcome that must be entered through childlike faith. A king whose only time in palaces was before kangaroo courts and whose only throne was a cross. Jesus came to His own, but his own did not receive him, yet to those who received Him, who believed in His name, He gave a rich welcome into the family of God and an eternal home with Him. Those who follow Jesus as Lord can learn from Him to honour others in their otherness, to dine with sinners without sinning with diners, and to be at home as strangers in the world. We can learn, like Jesus, to testify to truth while God’s grace overflows from our lives to others.
Evening Celebrations and Bible Teaching
Throughout this week, our speakers will lead us through the implications of the gospel for our lives as individuals and churches as we seek to be radically hospitable:
On Saturday, Monday and Tuesday evenings, Rosaria Butterfield will share from her experiences and biblical wisdom about the potential of the home as an embassy for Christ and how welcoming neighbours, adopting children and visiting prisoners can be part of their journeys to faith.
Gilbert Lennox will take us to first century Philippi to see how the gospel transformed lives and households there, beginning with the birth of the Philippian church in Acts 16 on Sunday evening, then delving into Paul’s letter to them in the morning Bible Teaching.
From Wednesday to Friday in the evenings, Tim Chester will lead us into Luke’s Gospel to see how Jesus, at meals He attended, modelled perfect hosting, foretold a great feast at the end of the ages, and called us to eat with others in celebration and extension of God’s grace.
As we journey together through the week of New Horizon, let’s be prayerfully considering what difference it will make when we return to where we live. We will celebrate God’s rich welcome to us in Christ and we can work together to transform an airy tent in a field into a place of homely welcome for all, but the real test will come after we leave. Will we take away a vision of how, in God’s power, our homes and churches can be places of radical hospitality where authentic Christian faith is shown to a sceptical world?