They came to meet me. They welcomed me with open arms. They cooked every kind of dish imaginable for me. They took me out for delicious meals. As soon as I had taken an item of clothing off it was washed and on the line! Nothing was too much for them. Come whenever you like for as long as you like, they said. Our door is open – and they meant it. They loved me and welcomed me into their family. They epitomise what it means to be hospitable.
I have just come back from 3 weeks in Japan to finish writing a book. I lived there a long time ago for 13 years and the couple I’m talking about, Mr and Mrs Nakazawa, were friends from the church from the beginning. The gift of hospitality is a great thing to have. Quite often, with our busy lives and tight schedules today, we find it hard to make time to invite many people round to our house – let alone have an open door.
To be invited and warmly welcomed is a wonderful feeling. So many people are lonely or need a listening ear and would love to be invited to come and have a cup of coffee or a meal.
‘Practice hospitality’ Paul, in the Bible, wrote to the Romans.
Who could you open your doors to today?
Rev Julie Shimizu