Monday, May 02, 2011

"An elder must be...hospitable" (Paul)

(Hebrews 13:2) Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.

In 1 Timothy 3, Paul outlines the qualifications requisite for a man who would serve the church of Jesus Christ as an elder. One of the character traits listed is “hospitable” which in Koine Greek is a compound of two words, philo (brotherly love) and xenos (alien, stranger, one who is without.) We tend to think of hosting a fellowship meal for our Christian brothers and sisters as practicing “hospitality”, but as Darrin Patrick observes:

“Contrary to popular belief, this qualification doesn’t mean that the pastor and his wife should have potlucks at their house for all the people in the church. Nor does it mean that pastors’ home should be a revolving door for people in the church to come and hang out, watch network television, and “do community.” The word “hospitable” refers to the way the pastor and his family welcome those outside the faith. In other words, to be hospitable is to be a friend of sinners and thus to be like Jesus.”

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