Monday 11th May
Generosity and hospitality are wonderful signposts of the Gospel. When I did research for my MA a couple of years ago these two features of the Gospel were common to all the churches that were growing numerically and spiritually. Generosity is something during the present crisis that I have observed in abundance as people have offered their time and talents for the benefit of their communities. In Hereford Diocese over 90 people have offered their services to greet people being discharged from hospital, others have offered to do shopping and collect medicines. Across our country we constantly hear of stories in the news of those going beyond the call of duty to bring benefits and care to others.
Hospitality however is much more difficult because we cannot simply invite people around or open our doors to others. The message is still clear we are all wherever possible to continue to stay home to protect others. The Latin root of hospitality has the same root as ‘hospital’ and in our present circumstances hospitality might be best seen as reducing our risk to others so that we avoid contamination and the passing on of the virus. In short hospitality in the present is about keeping friends and neighbours out of hospital by staying home. Perhaps the irony of the language has something to teach us.
Whatever we are doing as individuals we should keep generosity and hospitality at the forefront of our faith. Whatever our status in the faith community and within the wider community we can all have a role and when we feel least equipped it is those times that God is strongest. As St Paul taught the Corinthian church:
‘But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.’
As you pray ask God to give you a spirit of generosity and hospitality that you might be strengthened in your faith during this time. Pray too that as the crisis continues that our hospitals, doctors and nurses would not be overwhelmed and that they may continue to care for those most at need.
make us apostles of your generous love,
so that we might offer hospitality
that challenges the world
with your gift of eternal life,
made know in Jesus Christ,
who offered himself for us.