Friday, August 2, 2019

What is Hospitality? (Part 2)

I must have inadvertently pressed "publish" instead of "save" in my previous post on hospitality. Lot was prepared to risk the virginity of his daughters because of the sacrosanct oriental culture of hospitality. People whom one receives at home comes under the host's protection and Lot was not prepared to break this cultural dictate even for his daughters. We may debate on the wisdom of Lot's offer to the Sodomites but we could not but be impressed with his defence of hospitality that he has afforded his guests. It means that Lot did not bail out on his guests to leave early or worse chased out of the house. Perhaps it is one reason that the messengers of God were touched by Lot's hospitality that they acceded to his request to run to a small place near the city instead of the one demanded by the angels. Oftentimes we have to consider whether the offer of hospitality is sincere or love-driven instead of being hypocritical.
It is easy to make the guests feel uncomfortable if the host begins to give excuses or simply ignore those whom he had invited in the first place. That is a breach of hospitality and most guests if they have any dignity will leave in no time if they detect insincerity on the part of the hosts. Thus, it is not easy to offer genuine hospitality. It involves personal time and space, inconvenience and monetary costs to feed and protect the guests as long as they come under one's hospitality. No wonder prophets do not stay for long lest they be accused of imposing themselves on unwary people who might seem hospitable in the beginning but in reality they could care less for their guests. Elisha was persuaded on his journeys to stay in a room prepared by a rich woman and her husband from time to time. Church leaders or elders are especially called to be hospitable among other qualifications (1 Tim 3:2) and Peter the apostle also called upon all Christians to show hospitality to one another without complaining or grumbling (1 Peter 4:9).

No comments:

Post a Comment