Tim’s Daily Bread Devotional 11.7.21

By November 7, 2021Daily Bread

Good morning!

I hope this day finds you and your family well. I invite you to take a few moments with me to read and reflect upon today’s scripture selection — and to carry these thoughts with you into your day.

Today’s Scripture: 1 Peter 4:1-11 

Therefore, since Christ suffered as a human, you should also arm yourselves with his way of thinking. This is because whoever suffers is finished with sin. As a result, they don’t live the rest of their human lives in ways determined by human desires but in ways determined by God’s will. You have wasted enough time doing what unbelievers desire—living in their unrestrained immorality and lust, their drunkenness and excessive feasting and wild parties, and their forbidden worship of idols. They think it’s strange that you don’t join in these activities with the same flood of unrestrained wickedness. So they slander you. They will have to reckon with the one who is ready to judge the living and the dead. Indeed, this is the reason the good news was also preached to the dead. This happened so that, although they were judged as humans according to human standards, they could live by the Spirit according to divine standards.

The end of everything has come. Therefore, be self-controlled and clearheaded so you can pray. Above all, show sincere love to each other, because love brings about the forgiveness of many sins. Open your homes to each other without complaining. 10 And serve each other according to the gift each person has received, as good managers of God’s diverse gifts. 11 Whoever speaks should do so as those who speak God’s word. Whoever serves should do so from the strength that God furnishes. Do this so that in everything God may be honored through Jesus Christ. To him be honor and power forever and always. Amen.

 

Tim’s Devotional Reflection for Today

“Be hospitable to one another without complaining. Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received.”

Our call is to practice what Bishop Robert Schnase calls Radical Hospitality. Schnase uses the word, radical, intentionally to describe the kind of hospitality to which we are called as “good stewards of the manifold grace of God.”

The first definition of the word “radical” in the dictionary is “of or going to the root or origin; fundamental.” The second definition is “thoroughgoing or extreme, esp. as regards change from accepted or traditional forms.”  Both of these definitions apply to the use of the word to describe hospitality in the church.

“Radical hospitality” goes to the root of who we are as people of faith and the origins of the Church.

Centuries ago, St. Benedict retreated from Rome to a hillside cave, much as Christ had retreated into the wilderness, to discern God’s guidance for his life. Little did he know that he would become known years later as the “father of monasticism” and that others would follow his example.

The Benedictines have a rule of hospitality that seeks to welcome every guest who comes to them as though they were Christ.  Listen to these words from their Rule of St. Benedict, a book of precepts written St. Benedict wrote in 516 for monks living communally under the authority of an abbot:

“All guests who present themselves are to be welcomed as Christ, for he himself will say:  I was a stranger and you welcomed me…Proper honor must be shown to all….Once a guest has been announced, the superior and the brothers are to meet him with all courtesy of love…All humility should be shown in addressing a guest on arrival or departure. By a bow of the head, Christ is to be adored because he is indeed welcomed in them…great care and concern are to be shown in receiving poor people and pilgrims, because in them more particularly is Christ received.”

We as  today’s Christians need the reminder that hospitality is fundamental and goes to the root of who we are called to be. This applies to any church, of course, but it is also our duty as individual Christians.

The kind of Hospitality to which we are called is “thoroughgoing and extreme—beyond the accepted or traditional forms.”

Years ago, author Amy Oden compiled 300 pages of quotes from early church members. She then summarized those quotes in this way:  “The very willingness of Christians to share their meals and possessions, their homes and their worship with a stunningly wide diversity of people became one of the most convincing proofs that a kingdom of a very different kind was coming into the world.”

How can you practice this kind of hospitality in how you relate to others?

Thank you for sharing this early moment of your day with me, with God, and with the words and reflections I hope you will carry with you throughout the coming day and night.

Grace and Peace,


Dr. Tim Bruster
Senior Pastor

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