What’s the “best” or fanciest restaurant that you’ve been to? Why’d you go to it? What did you have & what made it so good?
This Sunday, guest teacher Rori Dunbar concluded our series The Art Of by exploring hospitality as a spiritual discipline.
What comes to mind when you think of hospitality? What actions, postures, activities, or attitudes determine whether you consider someone or something to be hospitable?
Do you associate hospitality as a discipline with spirituality or religion? If so, what role does it play in the spiritual life?
In Sunday’s message, Rori argued that, in God’s Kingdom, practicing hospitality goes beyond just making people feel comfortable in your space because it also includes a deeper posture of being welcoming & inclusive, especially towards those marginalized & excluded by our world.
With that in mind, read Luke 14:1-24 (in particular, focusing on Jesus’ parable in verses 15-24). In this scene, Jesus attends a Sabbath dinner (which, according to the Hebrew Scriptures, was supposed to be a present foretaste of God’s future, restored Creation). During the meal, Jesus observes how the hosts are positioning themselves & their various guests. Then, in response, tells a parable about the Kingdom banquet that he intends to throw.
First, consider the opening scene of the Sabbath dinner. How are people being treated & what does that reveal about its participants’ worldview?
Next, reflect on Jesus’ parable. How does it act as a response, challenge, & correction to the worldview that he sees as underlying the behavior taking place at this dinner?
How would you contrast the opposing visions of hospitality presented by these two stories (both in terms of behavior & worldview)? How does Jesus invite us into a more holistic, whole, & healthy perspective on hospitality?
Close by reflecting on how this parable can speak into your own practice of hospitality as a spiritual discipline.
Who is the last person (or kind of person) that you’d want to invite to Church or, more broadly, the Kingdom banquet? Why?
How might Jesus’ parable & vision of hospitality challenge you to change your posture, perspective, & actions towards who you identified in the previous question?
Coming Out of the Hole
Take time to reflect on the Sunday sermon & how this week’s teaching might speak into your daily life.
- First, consider how you define hospitality within the context of the church. What behaviors, postures, & attitudes do you believe need to be present for a church to be truly hospitable?
- Based upon your answer to the previous question, where do you see that level of hospitality being practiced at E3? Where are YOU practicing it & helping to embody it yourself?
- What’s one thing that you can do to help E3 become a more hospitable place over these next few months?
Journal, reflect, & pray on how God might be speaking to you through each week’s teaching. Share your experience with your growth group next week!
The Divine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard
Matthew by Stanley Hauerwas
Christ & Culture by Stanley Hauerwas
The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Peculiar People by Henry Clapp
Coming Up This Week:*
Sunday, December 3rd: Join us next Sunday as we kick off Advent!
* Please see mye3.org for details.