Essay Example on Christian Hospitality: Welcoming Others with Open Arms

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Pages:  6
Wordcount:  1462 Words
Date:  2023-09-17


Hospitality is defined as the process and art of being friendly to people, whether or not you know them. In the Bible, there are many instances when the need for hospitality has been encouraged through examples from narratives and teachings of prominent individuals. There are various elements associated with hospitality in Christianity. The spirit of welcoming others to church, homes, and to the ministries that one worships at are some of the aspects of Christian hospitality. Hospitality involves making exceptions for others physically as well as making emotional and mental considerations for them when they need the same (Martin, 2014). The teachings of Christianity encourage the practice of hospitality to those that we know as well as those that we do not know, since everyone needs love and through hospitality, we express our love for others, just like God does to us.

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The practice of hospitality has been a dominant theme in the Bible, and there have been attempts to revitalize the practice of hospitality as a way of expressing love to others, just as God showed and continues to show His love to Christians. Due to the increased complexity in the demographic composition of societies, people have become suspicious of each other, and therefore the friendliness previously portrayed by them is no longer there (Boomsma, 2010). Christians, therefore, feel that they have to spread love in the society, just as Jesus Christ did, and in the process, encourage the possibility of others doing the same to others. When the world is hospitable, the possibility of conflicts is reduced to a minimum, since people will be viewing others as one of their own who need to be loved instead of being poorly treated.

There have been arguments on the possibility of contemporary Christians following in the footsteps of the Old Testament and New Testament examples of hospitality. Some scholars argue that the cases of hospitality in the Bible have been romanticized to great extents, hence making them have standards that are too high for the present-day believers to follow. The words hospitality and the direct encouragement of the practice have not been explicitly mentioned in the Bible. However, the practice of hospitable acts is dominant, hence encouraging those who follow the Christian Faith to work towards emulating the practice and achieve the highest heights of religious piety and achievements from their acts. There is also the concern of whether the sociological practices of over 2,000 years ago can be applied to the present world and remain to be correct and acceptable to the people in the society.

Hospitality as Depicted in the Old Testament

The Christian yardstick of faith, Abraham, is known to be one of the most hospitable people in the Old Testament. Abraham is, therefore, an example to follow by the believers when it comes to hospitality, and this is because of the status he occupies in the Christian faith. Additionally, Abraham's example of hospitality is relevant to believers today since it shows the benefits that Christians stand to gain when they involve themselves in acts of hospitality. Abraham is said to have received heavenly and earthly favor for his acts of hospitality (Oden, 2010). His hospitality extended even to the people that were strangers, and at one point, he unknowingly hosted and entertained Angels in his home, which brought blessings and great favor to him in the long run. Therefore, since Abraham is the foundation of the Christian faith, believers should engage in acts of hospitality to gain the rewards that he received from his actions. In the Old Testament, the Bible suggested that hospitality should be extended, especially to the people who are not familiar to us. It is through this that New Testament Author Paul advises the Hebrews in his letter to them to continue practicing hospitality since it is through it that some have welcomed Angels in their homes.

Hospitality in the New Testament

Hospitality in the New Testament was defined and exemplified by Jesus Christ. First, Jesus expressed hospitality through some of his miracles. By performing miracles that helped people overcome the spiritual and physical issues that they experienced, Jesus was extending hospitality to them and also teaching a valuable lesson in the process. In his miracles, Jesus did not mind the ethnicity of the people he healed, therefore showing that indeed, Christian hospitality is universal and does not require the use of familiarity as the basis of the extension of hospitable acts (Oden, 2010). It is also through Jesus that some lessons on hospitality were passed. Daily interactions of Jesus, as recorded in the Bible, show that he was teaching hospitality in practice and theory.

The most important lesson on hospitality, as taught by Jesus, is the narrative of the Good Samaritan. Samaritans were not in good terms with the Jews, and therefore when a Samaritan traveler found a Jew on the roadside, beaten almost to death, it would have been understandable if he left him to die. Instead, he took the injured person to an inn where he paid for his medication and boarding fees, promising to take care of any other bills that may come up. This lesson shows that Christians are supposed to take care of everyone in society, regardless of whether or not they profess the same faith (Pratt, 2011). As an example of hospitality, Jesus showed his hospitality by washing the feet of his disciples. This way, he showed that acts of hospitality are not necessarily supposed to involve material things, but instead could involve acts of service. It is also through this example that we understand the need for humility should one wish to engage in acts of hospitality. It would have been expected that Jesus being the senior, would have demanded that his shoes be washed, yet he set the example by washing his juniors' feet.

Hospitality in Contemporary Christianity and Theology

The Christian faith is based on the idea of love, sharing, hospitality, and consideration for others. God's Kingdom is depicted as a house in which all believers are welcome to partake of the goodness that they stand to gain if they decide to. The doctrine of the Trilogy, on which the Christian faith is based on his ideas of sharing, since the three God-beings share different powers that the believers can access (Robert, 2015). The coordination expressed by the three God-beings shows how believers need to work in cooperation with each other, and how the competition is unnecessary in the Kingdom of God since everyone has different roles that they play in the Kingdom.

The practice of hospitality is essential in the Catholic and Protestant faiths and practices. The moral and ethical teachings promoted by the Christian faith have a case of hospitality attached to them since every act in the Christian faith has to fulfill the duty to others and God (Robert, 2015). Therefore, Christians are encouraged to be hospitable to the believers that they are familiar with, as well as those that they are not familiar with, or even share the same faith. Through hospitality, believers are promised of rewards that will result from the practices, hence giving the believers good lives on earth as well as in the eternal life that they are promised of if they follow the requirements of their faith as prescribed by their faith.

There are different opinions on whether Christians today should practice hospitality as a Christian gift or fulfill the scriptural obligations. Either way, it is agreed that, indeed, the practice of faith goes hand in hand with the practice of hospitality towards others. Believers hold the opinion that the practice of hospitality opens doors for their welfare to be taken care of by divine intervention, as well as the ability of their hospitable acts opening up the hearts of others to accept their evangelical attempts to compel others to accept their faith as their own (Rijneveld, 2014). Additionally, through hospitality, Christians believe that they will be playing a part in addressing some of the issues that the society faces, such as poverty, inability to access medical services, or an education. Through advancing acts of hospitality, believers can fulfill their obligations as citizens of the earthly governments that they are in as well as being good citizens and ambassadors of the Kingdom of Heaven, which they hope to be in for eternity once their journey in the earthly life comes to an end.


Boomsma, D. (2020). Just Hospitality. First Things: A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life, (303), 53-56.

Martin, L. R. (2014). Old Testament foundations for Christian hospitality. Verbum et Ecclesia, 35(1), 01-09.

Oden, A. G. (2010). And you welcomed me: A sourcebook on hospitality in early Christianity.

Pratt, L. C. (2011). Radical Hospitality: Benedict's Way of Love.

Rijneveld, W. (2018). Theological Account of Hospitality for the ETF course Integrating Theology and Spirituality.

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