Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

This blog will be written from an orthodox Christian point of view. There may be some topic that is out of bounds, but at present I don't know what it will be. Politics is a part of life. Theology and philosophy are disciplines that we all participate in even if we don't think so. The Bible has a lot to say about economics. How about self defense? Is war ethical? Think of all the things that someone tells you we should not touch and let's give it a try. Everything that is a part of life should be an expression of worship.

Keep it courteous and be kind to those less blessed than you, but by all means don't worry about agreeing. We learn more when we get backed into a corner.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Opus 2011-372, Spiritual Gifts: Hospitality

(1 Peter 4:9 KJV)  Use hospitality one to another without grudging.

I believe that hospitality (5382) is a spiritual gift.  It is not on all lists, but I think it is part of the building up of the body of Christ.  One reason I can see this as a gift is because of the verse that follows this one,
(1 Peter 4:10 KJV)  As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
Hospitality is an interesting word.  It is a compound word in the Greek made up of two words you would be familiar with.  The first is philios, or brotherly love.  We see it in words like filial and names like Philadelphia.  The second part is xenos which means stranger.  We use the word in xenophobia and such.

I think this word would be the direct opposite of xenophobia which is directly out of the Greek.  Xenophobia means “fear of strangers.”  philoxenos means “love of stranger.”  One is the standard of the world; the other, the church.  They are only a few letters apart.

There is a bit of confusion on this gift.  Once when teaching on spiritual gifts I had the class take a survey on spiritual gifts.  A large number of them came up with the gift of hospitality yet one of the big weaknesses of that church was that they did not reach out to new people.  Something did not add up.  Much of the incongruity came from understanding the meaning of the gift.  Hospitality is not knowing how to set a table and which fork to use.  It is more an attitude toward reaching out and caring about others.

A good example would be Mary and Martha.  The gift of hospitality is not the person who knows how to use the good china and who knows how to put a meal on time.  That was Martha.  She was concerned with the production.  Hospitality is in the hearts of people who make others comfortable in their home.  That was more Mary. 

When you are greeted by someone with the gift of hospitality, you come, you sit and you feel like you belong, not like you are an imposition.  If someone has the gift of hospitality the people eating with you don’t worry about the right fork or the quality of the food, but enjoy the fellowship that has been established along with the food.  Tuna casserole is enough when the gift of hospitality is present.  Of course the person with the gift would be sensitive to the fact that you hate tuna casserole and would not serve it, but that is another story. 

homo unius libri


  1. Good one. I have always heard that hospitality applies to fellow "brothers". Though that's not the way I read it.

  2. Phillip,

    I think that we can make a case that our first concern is for the "brethren" and then our neighbors. It doesn't exclude those outside the faith but it seems to me that there is a priority. Family, Local church, extended church, community and world would be the order I would put it in. If I have a dollar or an hour I probably don't start worrying about the missionaries if my pastor is out of bread.

    I know that when I am putting money toward world issues I try to find organizations that have low overhead and a high percentage of funds being applied to the needs.

    Have a great New Year.

    Grace and peace.


Comments are welcome. Feel free to agree or disagree but keep it clean, courteous and short. I heard some shorthand on a podcast: TLDR, Too long, didn't read.