Take a closer look at the theme of hospitality in Luke's Gospel, that comes up again and again.
In both the Old and New Testament the home is shown as the place of hospitality and intimacy, where the host would open their heart as they opened their door – to those they knew, as well as to strangers.
Luke’s Gospel is filled with accounts of Jesus and his disciples visiting the homes of the people they meet and dining with them there:
Jesus chose to visit people’s homes in order to build relationships and to strengthen his followers’ faith. It was in these homes that some of his most powerful encounters occurred.
Hospitality is a constant biblical theme and gift – a chance to share with others, rather than preserving what we have, or accruing even more.
Are there people in your area who are lonely or who have no family or friends close by? Are you wanting to find some new people to become friends with, or groups to join? How can you help others become less lonely or find new friends yourself? These websites aim to help people make new friends: meetup.com, campaigntoendloneliness.org.
With St Luke’s Feast Day taking place on 18th October, perhaps this is a great opportunity for your church to put on a meal for your wider community? Gathering together neighbours, friends and strangers could encourage new friendships to form and help those in our communities who are lonely at this time.
Here’s a great quote from St Benedict to remember:
‘Let all guests who arrive be received like Christ, for He is going to say, “I came as a guest, and you received me.”‘ (Matthew 25:35) (Rule of Benedict, chapter 53).