When preaching a sermon, there are natural time limitations that make it difficult to cover everything in a given passage in a complete way. The purpose of this blog series is to more fully address the list of qualifications for Elders (which are also things that all Christians are called to be) in Titus 1:5-9. Some items in the list were covered more extensively in this sermon, so I won't be covering those items here.
Coming on the heels of the command to not be greedy for gain (which is really a command to be generous), we find the command to be hospitable. Back in the days before Holiday Inn and Airbnb, Christians were expected to extend hospitality to other traveling believers or itinerant preachers. Inns in Biblical times were often dangerous and unsavory, and Christians were able to help people avoid that by providing them a place to sleep and feeding them. The word is naturally expanded to include other forms of hospitality, but at heart it indicates a willingness to invite others into your home for a short or extended stay.
According to Alexander Strauch, "[h]ospitality is a concrete expression of Christian love and family life. It is an important biblical virtue. … Giving oneself to the care of God’s people means sharing one’s life and home with others. An open home is a sign of an open heart and a loving, sacrificial, serving spirit. A lack of hospitality is a sure sign of selfish, lifeless, loveless Christianity." In other words, hospitality is a tangible, outward display of godly character.
Through hospitality we share the things we often value the most: family, home, financial resources, food, privacy, and time. We share our lives with another, even strangers, as the author of Hebrews tells us.
Christians, be hospitable.