Our Christmas Meal and The Issue of Hospitality.
by Nick Bishop
We recently had the pleasure of sharing our Christmas meal together at church, on Sunday 9th December. Over 50 people had gathered in the hall and were ready to enjoy a delicious three-course meal. Some were regular attendees of Victoria Community Church and others were visitors and family members who were also made welcome.
The food was excellent and everyone thoroughly enjoyed the socialising and fellowship together. Our Pastor, Simon Page, was involved in serving food and drink, along with his sons, Freddie and Ruben, and the deacons of the church. Simon’s wife Solana, and Gaynor Brotherton helped with the bulk of the work, preparing the kitchen, room, tables and decorations for a number of hours on Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning, alongside help from a brilliantly trained Rosetta star chef, Lee, who has started attending our church with his wife, Anna, and son, Max.
I had an excellent Salmon starter with trimmings followed by a Mushroom Pie complete with delicious vegetables. We had two different bottles of Schloer on our table, where I sat with my wife Lisa and my in-laws. Also, water was on offer should we prefer that instead.
Though I’m writing about our annual Christmas meal and what a great occasion it was, I’d like to take a moment to emphasise the theme of hospitality.
As Christians, it is incumbent upon us to show a warm welcome and hospitality to both those who are familiar to us and the stranger. The Bible teaches us that we are not to show any favouritism to anyone. It matters not our race, religion, nationality or gender, as the Bible emphasises on many occasions that we should act as Christ did and serve others just as Christ served us, out of love for God.
If you are wealthy (and especially if you are a Christian), God expects you to use and share your wealth to help others. The Bible is full of examples where rich people (who were godly individuals) helped the poor, the stranger, the oppressed etc.
However, if you are a Christian who happens to be on benefits or on low wages, you can still help those in need, if not with money, then by your actions. For example, you may be able to help out in a food bank or your local church to reach out and touch your community.
Hospitality, kindness and a ready nature to serve others is the very bedrock of Christ’s teaching. He will certainly take note of your actions and we will be blessed many times over, if not in this life, in the eternal life that is still to come in all its fullness.
As we approach the holiday season and sit down to our meal on Christmas Day, whether we are having a banquet or a simple meal, we must remember those less fortunate than ourselves.
There are many who are homeless, feeling lonely, the elderly, the sick, those with financial problems, the foreigner, etc. Let us not only remember them and pray for them, but if we can, do something to alleviate their situation. This would be a magnificent example of Christ-like thinking in practice, as we celebrate the birth of our Lord during this festive season.
I will leave you with these words from scripture:
1 Peter 4:9: “Show hospitality without grumbling”.
Ephesians 6:7: “Rendering service with a good will as to the Lord not man”.
Happy Christmas to you and your family. May you enjoy a blessed New Year.
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