The point is that hospitality is an opportunity to serve others. It isn’t about getting “repaid” but about serving someone who otherwise might not experience a feast or friendship. How does this apply to discipleship? Rosaria Butterfield is an example of the potential for discipleship that can come from practicing hospitality in this manner. She was a professor at Syracuse University and an unbeliever. She wrote an editorial criticizing Christians, and she received a letter from a local pastor inviting her to dinner. Her experience, including ongoing and regular meals with the pastor, not only changed her but saved her, and she is now a professing Christian. As she explains, “The way that they were practicing hospitality became a living, breathing, example of the theology that they were teaching.” She adds, “They didn’t see me as a project. They saw me as a neighbor. … Hospitality takes strangers and makes them neighbors and takes neighbors and makes them family of God” (“How Radically Ordinary Hospitality Changed Rosaria Butterfield’s Life,” Crossway, April 9, 2018, https://www.crossway.org/articles/how-radically-ordinary-hospitality-changedrosaria-butterfields-life/). There is a great opportunity for discipleship—when we open our homes to strangers and let them see us live out our faith over a meal.
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