Hospitality has never really been my “gift.” If you were to come to my home to stay, you’d be lucky if I remembered to grab you a towel from the closet, and although I’d try, quality of food would be “hit and miss.” Sometimes there’s a TON and other times, it’s Belvita and some tomato paste all the way!
Sometimes we don’t realize how important hospitality is until we benefit from it.
When I first began my appointment as associate pastor at Williamson’s Chapel, for a few months I had a 1.5-hour commute each way. On the very first day on the job we had an Administrative Board on a Sunday evening from 7 pm until 8:30 or 9:00 pm. Then, Monday morning was going to roll around again. Knowing that I had quite a challenging commute, the chair of the Administrative Board asked me if I wanted to stay with him and his wife. I welcomed the opportunity to not have an 8 hour turn-around time between driving 80 miles.
When I arrived his wife showed me to “my place.”
On the bedside table was a basket.
I assumed it was “room decor” until later when she encouraged me to take all that I needed because it was there for me.
Hand soaps, rolled towels/washcloths, lotion, mints, crackers, chocolate, a little “book” of devotions . . . it was amazing! Even having never been there before and knowing no one, I felt so welcome there!
When Jesus told his followers that he was going to “prepare a place for them,” the place he was referring to was not literal. Instead of pondering that literally, what if instead we think about the “place” we can find that Jesus takes us.
It is actually the place of resurrection.
A place where old wounds, pain and scars experience perfect healing and peace.
A place where fear is replaced with hope.
A place where death is not an ugly enemy, but instead an experience in which we find wholeness and inextinguishable joy, energy, and light.
“I go to prepare a place and guess what? YOU KNOW where I am going because you are experiencing it right now! If you will be willing to open your eyes and see.” (said Jesus in modern-day words).
The place Jesus prepared for us, the place Jesus takes us to, is the most beautiful gift of hospitality. One we are each created and called to receive.