“Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling…” 1 Peter 4:9 (NIV)
I remember a particular Christmas as a Christian in Dallas when I got acquainted with a family in my apartment complex. They were going to Texarkana to be with their relatives and didn’t have transportation. I didn’t have anyone to be with on Christmas and they asked me if I would like to go with them and drive. To be with others on that day, how could I say no? We got there and stayed the weekend at an old run down house and I was surrounded by people who treated me with warmth and hospitality.
I remember being introduced to their friends around town, going to the movies and a big BBQ in the back yard. A lively episode of The Cosby Show played on the VCR with the kids dancing for the grandparents.
As the weekend ended I got hugged by young and old. I was surrounded by people of another ethnicity, but was treated as someone who belonged with their family. Leaving that town and looking back, I never saw those people again but they have stayed in my heart and thinking about them reminds me of what rejoicing really means … having people around you with a mutual love, respect, and good times for all.
Father, thank you for those you have put into our lives, though we may only see them one time, their hearts of love we will never forget.