Read: “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” Romans 12:9-13 (NIV)
Reflect: Early in our marriage, our cuisine was basic. We ate hot dogs and mostly Top Ramen soup during our college years. Our special dinner was Domino’s pizza. Our social life was mostly spent at school until we found a church nearby to attend. When we were invited to our first Bible Study potluck, I felt anxiety about what to bring and not knowing anyone.
I eventually built close relationships within my Bible Study group. Over time, I felt comfortable inviting friends to our home for dinner. As I started to meet our neighbors, I would invite them over for dinner. My husband and I enjoyed getting to know people in our community and extending our hospitality.
As I reminisce about the early years of our marriage, I think about the friendships that we still cherish. These are the blessings that God gives us.
These days, I am very grateful for my family, friends and co-workers. I make time to meet with friends past and present to listen over a meal. I want to be open and available to God’s call to serve and care for others wherever I am. When our adult children and their families visit with us, we chat in the kitchen and sit down to a nice dinner continuing our conversations. The menu may have changed from those days, but the spirit of community we learned over hot dogs and Top Ramen remains the same.
React: This week be present to the people in your life. Take the initiative to meet people and build relationships in your community. Focus on the relationships not the picture-perfect setting.
Pray: Jesus, help me be a witness of your love and mercy. Help me Lord to bless others by listening over coffee or a meal.