Biblical Hospitality – March 2017

Biblical hospitality is something that Inheritance of Hope does well, particularly as we receive families at Legacy Retreats.

Biblical hospitality is not about the hotel industry or inviting friends over for dinner.

Biblical hospitality is assumed for followers of Jesus and is listed in 1 Timothy 3:2 and Titus 1:8 as required qualities of church leaders. Hebrews 13:2 says, “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” This word, hospitality, means “love stranger.” We have people come to each Legacy Retreat that we have never personally met. They are strangers to us, but they are coming because they have a need. In fact, they qualify to be here because of their need. So how do we do this?

Kindness, using the root word “kin,” means that we treat the stranger like family. How would you help a family member in need? We treat the stranger as though they belong with us, like they are family.

There are two main categories of how we do this. The first is that we do things for others. In the case of Inheritance of Hope, that means making plane reservations, working with food allergies, pushing wheelchairs, making airport runs, hugging kids, getting the fast passes, taking pictures, and so much more. This is so important. This is such a part of hospitality.

But there is another part of hospitality that we practice that is even more important, and a lot more difficult. We practice being with, not just working for. John 1 tells us, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory.” God does so much for us, but he is also WITH us. And that makes all the difference.

Being with these families means hearing their stories, allowing them to invite you into those stories, and respecting what you find there. It means offering your heart, not just your hands. It means seeing the person beyond the diagnosis and treating them like family. And that makes all the difference.

Gina Roes is a Licensed Professional Counselor who has been counseling for about twenty years. Originally from North Carolina, Gina has worked in many different settings, including New York for three and half years after 9/11. Currently in private practice back in NC, Gina has served families, children, couples, and individuals to help them find comfort, hope, and emotional healing on their journeys. She also is a Legacy Retreat® Coordinator and group sessions leader with Inheritance of Hope.