Friday, November 23, 2012

[some thoughts about hospitality]

“Hospitality means the creation of free space where the stranger can enter and become a friend instead of an enemy.”
Henri Nouwen

"So, what does true hospitality entail? I think it’s twofold: receiving someone as they are and generously extending whatever it is you have to share. It might be a banquet, or it might be your tears. Either way, the Apostle Paul says it should be offered in love, without grumbling (1 Peter 4:8-9).
Diana Butler Bass, again in A People's History of Christianity, writes that for the first few centuries of Christianity—starting with the church in Acts—"hospitality was the primary Christian virtue." It was "fundamental to being a person of the way,” and it was the "main motivator for conversions" (italics mine)."
Kristin Tennant in "Hospitality Outside of Pinterest" article

"I pray that none will be offended if I seek to make the Christian religion an inn where all are received joyously, rather than a cottage where some few friends of the family are to be received."
Richard Hooker

"Can we hold a Christian identity in a way that sends us toward the other with love and hospitality rather than with fear and hostility?"
Brian McLaren in video

"The opposite of cruelty is not simply freedom from the cruel relationship, it is hospitality.”
Philip Hallie, “From Cruelty to Goodness”, The Hastings Center Report 11 (1981): 26-27

'A century ago, William Booth recognized the importance of friendship with the poor when he wrote, “One of the secrets of the success of the Salvation Army is that the friendless find friends in it.” True hospitality involves friendship which “brings to the other what no law or revolution can: understanding and acceptance.” Hospitality, while certainly being insufficient in efforts for justice and transformation, is essential, very essential.'"
Christine D. Pohl commenting on and quoting W. Booth, in Making Room, p. 84

'Jean Vanier writes that “Welcome is one of the signs that a community is alive. To invite others to live with us is a sign that we aren’t afraid, that we have a treasure of truth and of peace to share.” He also offers an important warning: “A community which refuses to welcome—whether through fear, weariness, insecurity, a desire to cling to comfort, or just because it is fed up with visitors – is dying spiritually.”'
Christine D. Pohl quoting Jean Vanier, in Making Room, p. 160

"Hospitality will not make us safe, but it will lead us to risk joining in the work of mending the creation without requiring those who are different to become like us."

"This call for hospitality provides a clue to the possibility of welcoming difference, rather than creating a "cheap unity" built on compliance to one interpretation of faith in Christ."

"Difference is the gift that challenges us to practice such hospitality by resisting oppression and working for full human life and dignity for those with whom we stand in solidarity."
 ~ three quotes from Letty Russell  (Just Hospitality)

"... the act of hospitality is fundamentally an act of human recognition and embrace. If exclusion is fundamentally dehumanizing, hospitality acts to restore full human status to the marginalized and outcast.
Richard Beck, Unclean, pp. 122-123

"Hostage-taking is just another form of hospitality."
Jonathan Larson, Making Friends among the Taliban:
A Peacemaker's Journey in Afghanistan. p. 41

"Thus, the welcoming of the stranger is an eccentric encounter.

Consequently, a hospitable community will be eccentrically oriented, moving out from the center toward the edges and then past the boundaries to the area "outside" the faith community."
Richard Beck in "Eccentric Christianity: Part 3,

The people who feel welcomed are the people who you have set a table of hospitality for.

If your church is a house, is everyone an owner? Or are some people guests? The difference is that owners can move the furniture, do renovations, etc. without having to ask anyone other than the other owners. Guest need to be polite.
adapted from Misty Irons

Note: This page is an ongoing collection of brief thoughts about hospitality that resonate with the goals of this blog. It will be expanded on over time. Other posts will contain more extensive quotes on hospitality.

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