My Definition of Hospitality...

III John is a small epistle, one chapter, fourteen verses. In my personal journals, I have called it the "hospitality chapter". Easily one-third of it commends hospitality, followed by three or four verses describing how ambition is a force behind the lack of hospitality. "Diotrephes, who loves to have the preeminence...receiveth us not...neither doth he himself receive the brethren..."

The need for preeminence is always to be found behind the mentality that says, "Let someone else do the hospitality end of things." After all, at the very least, it puts our desire for ease and convenience as "preeminent" over and above the command of God to practice hospitality.

Tucked into the verses of III John, is the best definition of hospitality that I have found. I am sure this is written in a book somewhere, or has been taught by someone, but I have not read it or heard it.

..."whom, if thou bring forward on their journey after a godly sort, thou shalt do well."

To bring someone forward on their journey. The Godly-sort of journey. Sometimes pie and coffee and conversation are all that is necessary to bring someone forward. A night's stay and a good breakfast, followed by a brief prayer of blessing may be what another needs to bring them forward. Still yet, someone else might need a few hours of conversation, up into the night - long, laborsome, and patient dialogue in a safe place. And the result of all those hours of pouring out, may be but a half-step forward. So be it. Just bring 'em forward.

Then, there are the few, close friends, whose needs are simple: music and laughter. Please, just sit and play the guitar, sing a few songs, and let's laugh till we can't breathe. And they leave our home having been brought forward a country mile! Matter of fact, we all moved forward on this visit.

Come in! (Call first, if you can, so I can put the coffee on...) My prayer, till the day I leave this earth, will be that the time you spend here with me will somehow bring you forward in your Godly-sort of journey.
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