By Ashley Moore, Crosswalk.com
"Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men..." Colossians 3:23, ESV
Have you ever been to someone’s house for a Thanksgiving meal or Christmas dinner, and everything was so extravagantly decorated and clean that you felt if you touched something you may mess it up? While some people may find joy in a perfectly placed centerpiece, or meals served on fine china, I myself am a plastic tablecloth and paper plates kind of woman.
How do you feel about hosting others in your home?
Maybe you don’t invite others to your home because you fear your space is too small.
Or do you invite people over so you can showcase your finest dishes and decor?
Perhaps you get so stressed and worried about everything going just right that you lose sight of spending time with your company when they arrive.
Our heart motivations can often be messy underneath our thoughts about hosting for holidays, can’t they?
This is when we need reminders, like our key verse in Colossians. We’re not hosting to show off how much space we have. We are hosting because God has been generous to us, and He asks us to be generous to others as an act of worship toward Him.
inviting people into our homes is not an opportunity to brag or boast our merit, but rather a chance to give all praises to God for His many blessings. He is the provider of all our good things, and we experience the greatest joy in stewarding these blessings when we share them with His people.
Hosting is more than deciding on the menu. There is work to be done before our guest arrives and clean-up after their departure. Hosting is a gift of service, an act of humility towards those we invite to break bread. And let's all acknowledge that people are not nearly as concerned with our baseboards as we seem to be. My bet is they don’t even notice!
So, I invite us to think about hospitality differently this holiday season.
While we shop for extra food to feed friends and family, let’s praise God for His provision that allows us to be generous with others. When scrubbing our baseboards alongside our normal duties like laundry and daily dishes, let’s worship God by singing along to a Christian playlist. And while you are decorating and preparing for people to come over, let’s consider how we can invite them into an atmosphere that brings glory to God rather than attention to us.
Let’s pray over our guests. And if you aren’t quite ready to open your home to others, pray about that, too. Ask God to help you see other ways you might offer your hospitality as worship this holiday season.
We don’t need a big house or impressive plates to be hospitable this holiday season. What if instead of getting too caught up in what others will think or say about our homes or overwhelmed by all that goes into hosting, we focused on making each task an act of worship? I wonder if, by doing so, we could make the holidays less about consumerism and comparison and more about our Creator. Whatever we do to celebrate the holidays, may we do so heartily for the Lord.
I thank you for an opportunity to make the holidays sweeter with hospitality. I thank you that we don’t have to be impressive to worship you and love others. We can simply open our homes and invite people in to enjoy food and fellowship with each other. Lord, forgive us when we get caught up trying to be impressive or worry too much over our homes and things. Help us to keep our eyes fixed on you, and let everything we do this holiday season be an act of worship. You are worthy, Lord. Amen.
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/SeventyFour
Ashley Moore is a writer and host of be the two™podcast. She is known for her relatability and for passionately writing and speaking about mental, emotional, and relational health from a biblical worldview. She has written for Kingdom Edge Magazine, Guideposts, Crosswalk, The Secret Place, enLIVEn, The Bubbling Brook and more. If Ashley isn't writing, you can find her with her husband, three children, and two floppy-eared Goldens on their south Georgia farmland. The best way to connect with Ashley is to grab a free devotional or Bible study and join her newsletter at free.ashleynicolemoore.com.
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