Opening UP

Opening Up: Welcoming a Stranger (Not Taking on a Project)

Opening Up: Welcoming a Stranger (Not Taking on a Project)

But in God’s kingdom, there’s no measuring ourselves against each other. What’s the point? “In the kingdom,” Craddock says, “God is the host, and who can repay God?” If we are always guests, who are we to make any claims, set any conditions, expect any return? 

And as for poor people, or lame or crippled or blind people, as Fred Craddock points out, Jesus is saying more than we may want to hear. “Care of the poor and the disabled” is core to both the Jewish and Christian traditions. But Jesus is not calling on Christians to provide for the needs of the poor and the disabled; he says to invite them to dinner…. 

The word translated ‘hospitality’ means, literally, ‘love of a stranger.’…  

Nor does the text speak of sending food to anyone; rather, the host and the guest sit at table together. The clear sign of acceptance, of recognizing others as one’s equals, of cementing fellowship, is breaking bread together. In the Christian community no one is a ‘project.’

In the Christian community, no one is a project.