Yesterday afternoon Pine Shores provided the sanctuary for Magyar Christian Church. Due to renovations, they need to relocate after 20 years of holding services at Beneva Christian Church. They describe themselves as an “old Calvinist congregation, mostly of Hungarian origin who strive to offer ecumenical service, so everyone can feel at home.” Their pastor Rev. Peter Pal Bodor lives in Fort Lauderdale and drives to Sarasota to hold worship services on the first Sunday in the month from October through June. (They have a few other special services and they hold Sunday school on the first and third Sundays of the same months.)   With the blessing of our Council, we will be with providing space for them to hold worship services and their Sunday School classes starting in the fall.  We say this for information purposes but also to remind you that hospitality is a quality derived from God’s very character and hospitality is meant to be a quality of God’s people. Hospitality is a distinguishing mark of believers. It is important for God’s people because it’s a way to deepen our connections.  It’s a way to show we care for one another. It’s a way to embody love for others.  The Greek term often translated into the English term for “hospitality” is combination of two root words – Philos, which is one of several words used for “love” in the Greek language specifically meaning “to love like a brother or sister,” and the other word is Xenos means stranger. When these two words are combined they define hospitality. Hospitality is “one who loves strangers, like you would love your own brother or sister.”  As God’s people we can choose to practice hospitality by welcoming and including people into our lives.

Scripture Reading: 1 Peter 4:8-9
“Above all, maintain constant love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins. Be hospitable to one another without complaining.”

Reflection Questions:
What is your definition of hospitality?
How do you embody hospitality?
Who in your life has the gift of hospitality?

Prayer: Holy God, help me be a person of welcome and an instrument of love. Let me offer to others what you give to me. Amen.