“Be hospitable to one another without complaint.” (I Peter 4:9)
Reading this verse the day before most Americans celebrate Thanksgiving, with all the busy-ness of pre-holiday preparations, leads one to ponder how it might apply to us today. Surely it is not merely teaching us about hospitality in church ministry situations, but also includes what we do in our own homes. Scripture is very intrusive like that.
This verse likely addresses all of us who are hosting family and guests of all sorts this weekend: wanted and unwanted; favorites and those “EGR” people (“extra grace required”) as well. So we must be hospitable to all who come. And I suppose the “without complaint” part is to be taken literally? That’s quite a thought. I didn’t see an asterisk with an “except for pressure-packed holidays” clause in the footnotes, so it must apply even for tumultuous days like Thanksgiving. And even the day before. And even the day after. And even … all the other days too.
Sure; I don’t know “your” family! But I’m pretty sure God did when He wrote this. To you. For occasions like this. I’d say our only hope is to begin each day with Him in His word and prayer, and ask for His help, if we are to have any chance of living this verse out in packed houses on busy holidays. And on all the other days.
Such a gracious attitude needs to be carefully cultivated. We need to take the instructions like this in God’s word and prayerfully discipline ourselves to greater patience, love and hospitality. Sometimes difficult but well worth the effort. And Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.