A woman with some stature and resources moved to a small town that had lost its luster. To get acquainted in the neighborhood, she hosted a women’s gathering in her home—maybe a luncheon, maybe a tea. Wanting to honor her guests with her best, she brought out her valued china, linen napkins, and polished silver.
So far, so good. But the message intended was not the message received. . . . The guests left the home tallying up the disparities between the contents of their cabinets—Melmac and stainless and Grandma’s chipped luncheon plates—and the hostess’s finery. They talked among themselves: flaunting . . . putting on airs . . . not one of us.
God, show me ways to honor, not humiliate, my guests.
—Evelyn Bence, Room at My Table: Preparing Heart and Home for Christian Hospitality (Upper Room Books, 2014)
Reflect on your experiences as a guest. Can you identify times when you’ve felt “out of your league” or even humiliated? [excerpted from Room at My Table] Join the conversation.
Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.
—Hebrews 13:2 (NIV)
Prayer for the Week
Lord, you serve as a model for any host: you accept us as we are, even as you call us to be our best selves. As we serve others, give us a vision for anticipating the banquet we will someday, in some way, enjoy in your kingdom.
—Evelyn Bence, Room at My Table
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.
Prepare your heart and your bookshelf for one of the most sacred times of year. Advent favorites are now on sale for just $6.99 each! Browse the titles on sale here.
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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