Elisabeth Elliot—one of my favorite authors and an incredibly inspiring Christian—speaks fondly of childhood memories of the company her parents entertained in her book The Shaping of a Christian Family. Visiting missionaries, church members, or friends were regularly welcomed in their home and at their table. Elliot goes on to write of the impression that left on her about being hospitable.
Romans 12 identifies the marks of a true Christian. Hospitality, that old-fashioned virtue, is inexcusably among them. Elliot’s childhood and what is commanded in Scripture formed her view of hospitality. She had an open home just as her parents did.
What is hospitality, though? Is it always having people over and feeding them?
These days seem unprecedented with lock downs, toilet paper shortages, and social distancing. It seems ominous, even slightly apocalyptic. But it is nothing the world hasn’t ever seen before. There have been plagues and pestilences before. The news of the novel coronavirus, how fast it is spreading, and how many people are dying each day sounds so frightening when the media reports it.
How does anyone find comfort and peace during this time? Maybe the vice grip on your chest loosens when you know you have enough supplies stocked up for the next month (or two). Maybe the anxiety eases when you completely cut yourself off from the world to keep the virus out of your life and home. Maybe some peace sneaks in when you realize that COVID-19 acts like any other virus. It acts like the virus of the H1N1 Pandemic of 2009. Only during that pandemic millions of people died. Maybe you rest easier knowing that the fatality rate of COVID-19 is nowhere near that yet.
“Resolved, that I will do whatsoever I think to be most to God’s glory, and my own good, profit and pleasure, in the whole of my duration, without any consideration of the time, whether now, or never so many myriad’s of ages hence. Resolved to do whatever I think to be my duty and most for the good and advantage of mankind in general. Resolved to do this, whatever difficulties I meet with, how many and how great soever.” – Jonathan Edwards, Resolution 1
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” – Isaiah 9:6
We are an indecisive society. With so many options for where to eat, work, live, and play, the ability to choose promptly and contentedly is a dying skill. We have become so indecisive that when expressing our dislike for or disinclination to choose something, we glibly throw out the phrase “I don’t care.” We use “I don’t care” to express our lack of opinion. However, if you truly “don’t care,” that is, in fact, an opinion and merely reflects an inability to decide.
Prefixes and suffixes are those word parts (called affixes) that get hooked onto words to make new words. Remember this: when you make a new word, the meaning changes. You cannot change the beginning or end of a word with whatever addition you want. An affix means something.
Blues and violets were dancing together across the sky, accompanied by the setting sun. The trees on the hills strained to touch their tips to the periwinkle above. The highway dipped like a roller coaster and rippled for several more miles. It was a late-April evening in northern Florida, and it had been a day.
You know how some days can make your heart thump-thump-thump? My heart had been thump-thump-thumpy all day. Lessons hadn’t gone as planned and students were excessively edgy. Too many unexpected events, too many interruptions, too many minor hiccups were the perfect cocktail for a thump-thump-thumpy heart.