Do you want to grow closer to God? Today’s passage from Matthew 10:40-42 is an answer to that question.
For the last three weeks, Jesus has been giving instructions to his disciples. Jesus’ work needs workers and the disciples are his hands and feet in the world. What Jesus did during his life on earth will be the disciples’ mission as well. They will bring good news to the poor, which might not be good news to the rich. The disciples will eat meals with the people society says not to. The disciples will advocate for healing and wholeness in a world that fights hard to deny wholeness to everyone. The disciples will preach, teach, and do. The work will be hard but it’s necessary, vital, and life-giving to those who do it.
Jesus’ final words of instruction are these 3 verses from Matthew 10. They are words centered in hospitality. Hospitality is more than inviting someone into your home. Hospitality means we need to be willing to be a guest in someone else’s home too. Hospitality is as simple as offering a cup of cold water to a thirsty child and as complicated as going into the home of an enemy and showing them love and compassion. We want to control how we practice hospitality. We want to decide who we invite into our home and whose home we are invited into. But Jesus breaks control in this passage. When it comes to being God’s people, we don’t get to chose who we show hospitality to. We are called to invite all people into our spaces and to go into the spaces of every other person too. When we do this, we are doing more than just being kind or compassion. We are actively engaged with God. We are actively living with God. We are actively welcoming God. It’s through hospitality that we discover just what it’s like to follow a God who created our world and who lived in it as a guest to show us what God’s love actually looks like.
Each week, I write a reflection on one of our scripture readings for the week. This is from Christ Lutheran Church’s Worship Bulletin for 4th Sunday After Pentecost, 7/2/2017.