Saturday, July 07, 2007

Soul Hospitality

One thing I do love about our house is it's conducive to entertaining, which I happen to enjoy doing. I remember the first picnic we had, our first spring in this house. It was so much work. I had Friday off work, and labored all day Friday and Saturday and much of Sunday in preparation for a get together Sunday afternoon. Needless to say I was exhausted.

We're having people over this evening, as we've done at least every other week this summer. His family. My family. Friends. Here it is high noon, and here I sit, blogging. What gives? I had to stop and think - why am I so relaxed? Honestly, I feel like I can throw a party without batting an eye anymore, in comparison to those days when the preparations far outweighed my enjoyment! (That said, I am not the kind of person to be busy while I have company, it was just the preparations that got me!)

Is there something to be said for making hospitality a routine? As I'm reading Sacred Companions again, I'm reminded of this idea of soul hospitality . . . being able to make a place in my life for others as well as the Spirit of God. The author, David Benner, points out that if we can't offer hospitality to the Holy Spirit, we have nothing really to offer others. And yet, should it be a frenetic laboring effort . . . this soul hospitality? Perhaps it might be at first, until we get comfortable with the idea that the Spirit of God requires nothing of us in preparation. We don't need to clean up our act or get out attitude right before we can welcome him into our lives. When we acknowledge his presence, he will gently nudge us in the direction we need to go. He wants to be a part of the preparations, as well as the party.