In many cultures, hospitality and generosity are cherished virtues, with similarities deriving from shared ancestry when God separated the nations at the tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1–9). As the people dispersed, they guarded those values they wanted to pass along.
Abraham received the heritage of hospitality and quickly invited strangers to his tent for refreshment (Genesis 18:1-14). Lot protected angels who appeared in Sodom by taking them into his home (Genesis 19:1-3).
As in Moses’ day, the church is encouraged to be lovers of hospitality without grumbling and use God’s gifts to bless others (1 Peter 4:9, 10). And Sister White, in Adventist Home (445.5), counsels us to consider being hospitable “a privilege and blessing.” She also gives a beautiful testimony of God’s heart, as displayed by the householder who pays a full day’s wages to the last laborers hired. “They were rewarded, not according to the amount of their labor, but according to the generosity of his purpose” (COL 397.1).
Our Savior, clothed with humanity and dying on the cross to save us, magnifies this principle of generosity. When He came to dwell with us, He did not arrive without a gift to leave behind—the Holy Spirit (John 14, 16). And this glorious world is a marvelous display of our Creator’s hospitality.
Cross-cultural missionaries learn and experience first-hand how to build relationships through hospitality and generosity. This month, Gabriella Lincoln shares some of the blessings her friend Qadira showered upon her as tokens of appreciation, friendship and service (p. 13). And Zoë and Kaleb Lieben highlight the importance of presenting food or drink when arriving at the home of a host (p. 38). What other examples of hospitality or generosity will you recognize?