Unreasonable Hospitality - Glasshouse Christian College

Unreasonable Hospitality

  • February 29, 2024

Unreasonable Hospitality

At nine years old, me and my friends from church were invited to the Searson property for a day unlike any other. We were being treated to our own private theme park! The small acreage was transformed by merry-go-rounds, jumping castles, food stalls, mini golf, and pony rides. They even had those giant teacups where you would spin in two opposite directions at the same time. The novelty wore off quickly after being sprayed with vomit from my best friend’s little brother who wanted to ride in the same teacup as me. 

Following a quick change of clothes, the day continued to spiral up and out of control until it became embedded in my memory as one of the most joy-filled days of my childhood.

Twenty-two years later I now wonder how the Searson’s did it. I mean, a theme park? When you consider the time, energy, and money spent to open a mini theme park for the benefit of only a handful of kids, it’s amazing they followed through with it. The Searsons had every reason to do something else, something reasonable like bowling or ice skating if they wanted to bless the kids at church. Either of those options would have been enough for us to have a great time. But no, Mr and Mrs Searson chose the unique, unnecessary, impractical option as our hosts to ensure we had a day like no other. I was treated to a very rare form of hospitality. And this instance was neither the first nor the last from them.

In the Bible, the theme of hospitality is woven throughout, encouraging believers to welcome strangers and show kindness without expecting anything in return. The Searson’s generosity echoes the spirit of Christian hospitality, where love is poured out extravagantly, not bound by logic and practicality.

The Apostle Peter encourages believers to “offer hospitality to one another without grumbling” (1 Peter 4:9). The Searson’s act of creating a mini theme park for a handful of children goes beyond the ordinary, embodying a selfless and joyful giving that mirrors the grace and love demonstrated by God.

In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus teaches about hospitality when he says, “But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous” (Luke 14:13-14, NIV). The Searson’s example reflects this spirit of hospitality, where the focus is not on receiving something in return, but on creating moments of joy and love for others.

Maybe we can be inspired to go beyond the reasonable and embrace opportunities to show extravagant hospitality to others, knowing that in doing so, we reflect the boundless love of our Creator.

Nathan Wilson, Primary College Pastor

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