Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Difference Between Hospitality and Entertaining

Christmas has just ended.  I ran across a blog recently that spoke volumes of wisdom to those of us who love to have people into our homes for a meal - holiday or every day.   I love to cook for others.  Often, in my desire to have community around a shared meal, I end up seeking to impress and to entertain my guests.   I am reminded that there is a difference between serving (hospitality) and impressing (entertaining).  I had never read Jen Wilkin's blog before, but I am so glad I did!   She has much to say about the differences between the two.  You should read her words here!

Here are a few of the quotes I loved the most:

Entertaining is always thinking about the next course. Hospitality burns the rolls because it was listening to a story.

Entertaining seeks to impress. Hospitality seeks to bless.

Entertaining invites those whom it will enjoy. Hospitality takes all comers.

Orderly house or not, hospitality throws wide the doors. It offers itself expecting nothing in return. It keeps no record of its service, counts no cost, craves no thanks. It is nothing less than the joyous, habitual offering of those who recall a gracious table set before them in the presence of their enemies, of those who look forward to a glorious table yet to come.

It is a means by which we imitate our infinitely hospitable God.

While we are in the middle of a holiday season of eating with friends and family and neighbors, let's put the important things first.  We love and serve others because Christ Jesus loved us first - while we were still his enemy.  We love and serve others for their good and benefit, not to receive praise.  We love and serve others as a joyful celebration - of time with family and friends and neighbors!!  My table is happiest when it is surrounded by those I love and those I am getting to know.  And when the rolls are burned (read her article!)!!