The following article is taken from https://tinyurl.com/y9gbr7fz
Germinate / Arthur Rank Centre has some great resources for those in a rural community
Christian hospitality …
…enables us to meet with God
…should have no limits
…challenges us to see people through God’s eyes
Luke 14:12-14: Jesus eats with Pharisees
Having been invited to meet and eat with a group of Pharisees, Jesus explains that true hospitality isn’t about inviting people who can repay us or about securing an advantage for ourselves. Jesus is clear we should invite those who have the greatest need regardless of who they are. This is not about providing for the needs of the poor but meeting them as equals over shared food. This is a radical change, both in our understanding of hospitality and in the way, we see others.
Luke 10:25-37: The parable of the Good Samaritan
The story of the Good Samaritan pushes the boundaries around the idea of neighbour. It is perhaps hard for us to realise how radical this story is, when the hated outsider stops to do something the righteous God-fearers won’t or can’t. For Luke, this story becomes an example of ‘acting in love which is without preference or partiality and which expects nothing in return.’ (Craddock, 1990, p151)
Matthew 25: 31-40: The parable of the sheep and the goats
Jesus is consistent in reminding us that love and care shouldn’t be limited to ‘people like us’. The key to providing authentic hospitality is to see Christ in those to whom we offer that hospitality and from whom we receive it. We are to see them as our sisters and brothers. Anything less risks reducing those we help to objects of pity for whom we provide care rather than hospitality. Hospitality is two way: we learn and receive as well as give.
Who might feel isolated in your community?
Could you make your church building available for those wanting to start a new group?
Could your church community start an activity for those who are isolated?
- Use a map of your community as the focus of your prayers
- Encourage members of the congregation to take photographs of the area in which they live and use these in prayer • Make a list of groups, activities and amenities in your community and pray for them
- Install a prayer box somewhere in the community and collect the prayers and concerns of your community