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  • On the Road – Hotels and Hospitality

    How does the ancient idea of hospitality stack up with today’s Evangelical hospitality?


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    • Ed Udell Sr

      Enjoyed the words concerning hospitality! I plan to share your thoughts with others as we all consider how to become more hospitable!

      • FLOW_Evan

        Great! Glad to hear! We need to make ourselves more vulnerable and available with the people around us!

    • ASFB

      Has anyone watching this video seen the Hollywood movie, Lone Survivor, based upon a true life account book of the same name? A U.S. Navy Seal, severely wounded, and on the run from Al Qaeda during combat was taken in by a Muslim family and village based upon this ancient and noble notion of hospitality. I could imagine someone looking at Lone Survivor and then looking at the “typical” evangelical, suburban church in America as described by Evan and begin to ask questions. The conclusions drawn at face value would be unfavorable to American Christians, it appears.

      • FLOW_Evan

        This is exactly what I’m talking about! Thanks for your comment!

        • ASFB

          I meant to include that the cost to the “Muslim” family and village was steep to show hospitality to this infidel Christian. As I understand it, the family and village have suffered severe repercussions from jihadists for acting upon this notion of hospitality. Could one argue that a measure of faith is the cost of it?

          • FLOW_Evan

            I think one could argue this. Although, I’m not one for measuring the weights of faith and sacrifice. For me, it’s kinda like “I know it when I see it.” But, gifts always come with some kind of cost/sacrifice. I’m reminded of Philippians 1 in all of this. I’m also reminded of the myriad of costs associated with our life here in exile – not just physical jeopardy or danger, but also internal struggle: depression and hopelessness. Mother Teresa, a woman of great faith, fought against them regularly. So, too, do many of us.

    • Ben

      Is the church of God not only for the life of the world, but itself the life of the world? Church being the network of relationships in worship of God, as opposed to only a gathering. So then, is the church the life of the world?

      I ask because then hospitality sure would make a lot of sense. But I was curious how you all over there think about the language of the church not only being FOR the life of the world but also itself AS the life of the world. The network of relationships in worship of God that is.

      This way the inviting in would be the most just thing we could do, invite people into the network of relationships in worship of God…

      What do you think about these thoughts/this language?

      Hospitably yours,

      Ben

      • FLOW_Evan

        Good thoughts, Ben. Let me ponder this and get back to you.

      • FLOW_Evan

        Okay, Ben, I’m back. Great question, again. It really gave me pause – to be honest, I had to talk with Stephen Grabill. And here’s where I’ve landed. You could say the church functions AS the life of the world, just as we say the church functions AS the body of Christ in the world. But! We obviously are not the saviors of the world. We are in exile. Our work, at best, is poor reflection of what the glory that is to come.

        If fact, it’s probably more accurate to say that the Church is FOR the life of the world and for a few reasons. First, the world can exist without the church, without redemption. Second, the church is FOR the life of the world because its mission is to call people – ALL people, even people in the church – to live a lives of offering for the sake of the other. This is a more holistic gospel, it’s a gospel infused existence. Finally, I think we live FOR and not AS (and this kinda hints back to the first paragraph), we – the church – are on our way to GLORY, we aren’t there yet. We’re preparing the way for GLORY. That won’t happen until Christ returns and our mission is complete. Think of it like John the Baptist – was he preparing the way AS the Lord, or FOR the Lord? John the Baptist’s cry, in many ways, is our cry – but in a more holistic sense, we are making the way FOR the Lord, by offering every part of lives (our family, work, education, etc., etc.) for the sake of the other and for the glory of God. In doing this, we are making a beautiful way for our bridegroom (note: we are not hastening his arrival in any way) and for a time when we truly know and are fully known.

        Did I rabbit trail? Make sense? I eagerly await your reply.

        • Ben

          Yes, I am for the most part picking up what you are putting
          down. Thank you so much for taking the time to interact, it is very generous of you.

          Just so we are on the same page, yes, we are not the Messiah
          nor are we preparing the way AS the lord… (except, like you said, as his body).

          I am not disagreeing with a Gospel infused life, a holistic
          gospel AND the major major need for that “wider perspective “– family, work,
          education, etc etc… This series (FLOW) filled a major gap and in such a top
          notch way.

          What I am suggesting isn’t threatening that wider
          perspective. And maybe we aren’t disagreeing but just missing each other, let
          me know after reading below:

          I am adding, by saying “the church IS the life of the
          world,” that the very relationship between those worshiping God is the
          prolepsis.

          I think we could agree on that because that relationship
          together in worship of God includes the way these people do family, work,
          education, etc. etc… They are ‘working for the good of all and especially the family of faith’
          (Galatians 6:10).

          This is a both/and. The church is the life of the world and
          thus for it.

          However, the nuance of the emphasis of the relationship
          between one another in worship of God is not any less FOR the world though. The
          best or most just thing for the world is not that people would live lives of
          offering for the sake of others, but that people would live lives of offering for
          others because of Jesus. The place where
          both the first part of, “for others” and the last part, “because of Jesus,”
          exists is the church. The most just thing for the world, then, would be that we
          be it and invite people into it. Again, not necessarily a Sunday service (not excluding
          that though), but that dynamic network of real relationships in worship of God.
          And again, that dynamic would include the way we do family, work, education etc
          etc in the way that your series wonderfully and prophetically calls us to.

          I agree with your sobering point, ‘the world could go on
          without the church,’ however… the world would never have Jesus. And in the end,
          because of that, the world would never have life.

          My distinction I am trying to draw out is that the very
          relationship between those in worship of God is more than just to maintain hope
          for flourishing life, it is itself the location of life and that of the world
          in the now and not yet.

          I am believing that that work is preparing the way of the Lord…
          in fact I will be as bold to say it is the Way, at least that is what Luke
          records in Acts it being called – however “not there yet” they were. And that
          book too is all about the stranger being let in to that flourishing life (which
          includes family, work and wonder) of relationship in worship of God.

          Let me know what you think of all this, thanks for doing
          this with me, I really have absorbed your work and value you and the team. I hope you can tell I am not trying to
          just have a blog-fight, I am really trying to noodle this out to live it out.
          If it is any worth to you, you are helping me do so by interacting (affirming
          and pushing back) with me and my thoughts.

          – Ben

          PS. Have you read Miraslav Volf’s “Soft Difference”? It
          might interest you:

          http://www.pas.rochester.edu/~tim/study/Miroslav%20Volf%201%20Peter.pdf

          • FLOW_Evan

            Howdy Ben! Sorry for the delay. I think what your saying works. What matters most to me is how you live it out. “For”, “As,” “Is”, if we’re not living it out in a way the brings life TO the world and in the places of exile which we’ve been placed, then all is for nought.

            I haven’t read Volf’s “Soft Difference”. I’ll added it to the growing pile. Thanks!

            Blessings, my friend, make your life an offering for the life of the world and the glory of God!

    • Ben

      Is the church of God not only for the life of the world, but itself the life of the world? Church being the network of relationships in worship of God, as opposed to only a gathering. So then, is the church the life of the world?

      I ask because then hospitality sure would make a lot of sense. But I was curious how you all over there think about the language of the church not only being FOR the life of the world but also itself AS the life of the world. The network of relationships in worship of God that is.

      This way the inviting in would be the most just thing we could do, inviting people into the network of relationships in worship of God…

      What do you think about these thoughts/this language?

      Hospitably yours,

      Ben

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