Make friends with nobodies, don't be the great somebody
What do you think of when you hear the word “hospitality”? Is hospitality the perfect host with a perfect house that mimics a perfectly put together Pinterest Board? Is hospitality a woman’s thing? Is it something the Bible tells us to do? Is it just for Christians hosting Christians? Who are we really called to be hospitable to?
I’ve fallen in love so much with the topic of hospitality I gave a workshop on it this spring at a Navigator conference (I work for the Navs on Tuesdays and Thursdays!).
The majority of the students in the room had experienced welcome, belonging, and community from the Navigators on their campus, but my workshop was geared toward challenging them to consider ways they could extend hospitality to other students on campus they encounter on a daily basis.
The world tells us to seek out those who are important or to invite others who talk, look, and act like us into our houses. The Bible tells us this:
9-10 Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle…Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality.
14-16 Bless your enemies… Laugh with your happy friends when they’re happy; share tears when they’re down. Get along with each other; don’t be stuck-up. Make friends with nobodies; don’t be the great somebody. Romans 12:9-15 (MSG)
Part of the early twenties/late twenties experience is about discovering how we can impact and influence the world around us. Part of it is learning that we are somebodies in this world. We do play a role in this world.
But Jesus, God in flesh who humbled himself and came to earth not to be served but to serve, made friends with nobodies and didn’t consider himself too good to hang out, love on, and serve the nobodies.
If Christians are called to be like him, what could that look like for us practically in the day to day...
- With the socially awkward kid in your class?
- With those who are in poverty or of a different socio-economic status than us?
- With those of a different sexual orientation than us?
- With those who hate the church?
- How is God calling us to be welcoming and intentional with Christians and Non-Christians alike?
I’m excited I’ve been able to challenge students from many campuses to be “inventive” in how they help others belong in their homes (or dorms) and their hearts!
I'm continually challenged by this. I continually fail at it and continually learn how to do it. Let’s ask God to help us step into this beautiful, yet daunting task of seeking out the nobodies, that they might be a part of some “body”... what I believe to be Christ’s eternal, welcoming, and restoring Church.
Sarah and Wimberleigh and I ran around the horticulture gardens the other day... I've been mentoring them the past two to three years and I'm an emotional mess as they're both leaving this desert city for post-college life. One of my deepest hopes for them as they leave is that they wouldn't get caught up in being great, but in loving great.