In light of the Scripture passages quoted in the previous blog post, the New Testament church obviously functioned according to their Lord’s command. Allusions are sprinkled throughout to the hospitality they afforded one another. Paul, after his dramatic conversion, is harbored—vision-shocked and blind—in the house of Judas, a Damascus Christian.
Acts 9 gives record of Peter who “stayed in Joppa for many days with one Simon, a tanner.” This same apostle jolts his Jewish brethren with his obedient openness and welcomes into his dwelling the Gentile messengers of Cornelius. They even spent the night, contrary to the ceremonial law of the Jews.
Delivered miraculously from prison, Peter goes to the house of Mary where many of the church were gathered praying for his release. After being beaten and imprisoned, Paul and Silas find refuge in the home of Lydia of Philippi.
Much of the apostles’ ministry was centered in these private dwellings. Paul states,
“how I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you in public and from house to house.”
But, the business of lodging these outspoken workers of the Kingdom was often fraught with dangers of its own. In Thessalonica a rabble crowd, incensed with the same apostle,
“attacked the house of Jason, seeking to bring them out to the people. And when they could not find them, they dragged Jason and some of the brethren before the city authorities, crying, ‘These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also, and Jason has received them; and they are all acting against the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, Jesus.’”
Security was taken from Jason and he was released, but his hospitality had been costly.
Award-winning author Karen Mains continues to write content for her Christian blog, “Thoughts-by-Karen-Mains.” In so doing, she desires to touch the lives of Christian women and men and help them find ways to walk closer with the Lord Jesus Christ. In addition, through silent retreats, spiritual teaching, women’s retreats, Christian vacation opportunities, and other ministry activities, Karen helps each Christian woman and man receive vital spiritual food.
Karen has long had an interest in Christian hospitality and is the author of the best-selling book, Open Heart, Open Home.
Through her Hungry Souls ministry, Karen serves as a spiritual coach to many Christian women and men, and teaches a mentor-writing class. And, through the Global Bag Project, she is working to develop a network of African women who sew exquisite cloth reusable shopping bags. This microfinance women opportunity helps provide a much-needed sustainable income for struggling African families. For more information on this critically important project, please click here.
For decades, Karen and her husband, David, have served God through religious communications—radio, television, and print publication. The are the co-authors of the Kingdom Tales Trilogy: Tales of the Kingdom, Tales of the Resistance, and Tales of the Restoration. To find many valuable resources for pastors and churches at the Mainstay Ministries main website, please click here.
Likewise, pastors will find special resources to help them prepare effective, life-transforming Sunday sermons by visiting David Mains’ website by clicking here.