Hospitality for Selfish People

Last night I finished a fantastic book, Hospitious Adoption, that was given to me my our son’s birth-grandparents.  I strongly commend this book to anyone considering adoption or, like ourselves, living as adoptive families.  There is theological depth, practical wisdom, and a paradigm-shifting approach to adoption contained in these pages.

Hospitality is the lens through which author James Gritter views adoption.  As someone who strongly believes in the virtues of hospitality while simultaneously craving privacy, I was relieved to read the following sentences toward the end of the book.

I am amused as it occurs to me that once of the reasons I am drawn to hospitality is, of all things, obedience.  You see, my conviction that hospitality is the best way to approach [adoption] is in many ways offset by my awareness of the amount of effort it requires.  I could not be more convinced of its virtue, yet I find myself inventing what are, to my mind, utterly compelling excuses to avoid situations calling for hospitality. The factor that breaks my gridlock and pulls me into getting serious about hospitality is  my understanding of what my faith requires of me.  For people of faith, hospitality is not optional; it is obligatory.

I can say unsanctimoniously that my growing appreciation and practice of hospitality are due primarily to the way I understand Jesus.  That and I have the example of my wife whose hospitality skills will always exceed my own.

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David Swanson
David Swanson is the pastor of New Community Covenant Church [Bronzeville] on Chicago's South Side. He blogs often and has authored countless articles for prominent Christian publications.

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