Welcome the Stranger
By Thandi Gova
14 February 2017
Scripture: 1 Peter 4:7-9
7 The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray.
8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
9 Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.
We live in a hostile world where our first reaction is to be hostile to the stranger, the foreigner, one of a different cultural background, socio-economic class, community, church or any sort of difference that doesn’t suit or fit into our ‘comfort zone’ or our ‘normal’. This hostility is our way of protecting ourselves, our belongings, our status, our social circles and our jobs because we have become so self-centred that everything has become about ‘us’ and what we can gain and keep.
- In this scripture Peter tells us to “Be watchful in prayer”.
- We need to watch ourselves, our attitudes and actions towards others.
- We need to watch our world in prayer by calling out all its challenges in prayer as well as noticing the stranger and how the stranger is treated.
- Love each other…
- Where there is love many “small things” and “big things” can be overlooked.
- Where there is no love there is suspicion, lack of trust and misunderstandings.
- Be hospitable without grumbling
- Love will show itself in hospitality.
- Hospitality is a practical, openhearted act of love.
- It is allowing yourself to be vulnerable by inviting another vulnerable person to be in your sacred place/home: a place where you feel loved, protected, safe, secure and free. The hope is that they will feel the same while opening themselves up, and sharing meals together.
- How does hostility show itself?
- How can we create safe spaces?
- How do we practically show love to strangers without taking away their dignity?