2013-04-01 - Love Can Mean Saying `No'
Introduction ~ 2 John 1-6
My wife and I are not exactly what you might consider social butterflies. Also, I wouldn't put the gift of hospitality at the top of the list of gifts the Lord has provided for us. And because of the nature of my ministry, I have to limit my social involvement.
It was the late seventies. Life was fairly routine in those days. One night, she came home and announced that she had been talking to this person, who really wasn't known to either of us. Anyway, this young lady needed a place to stay. And much to my surprise, my wife suggested we put her up. Now I recognized that this must have been a request from the Lord, since my wife suggesting this was on a parallel with the parting of the Red Sea, I agreed. This was never to be our norm.
But a lack of social involvement and exercise of hospitality isn't just our issue; it is endemic to today's church. The sense of community found in the Church, through the ages, is seriously missing in the Western Church. Of course, there are many reasons. The very nature of our lifestyle, business, isolation, even the design of our housing mitigates against involvement. To be involved is "too much work."
But the pattern of hospitality once was a standard practice within the Christian world. Many homes had an "Elijah Room." This was a guest room for the traveling pastor, missionary or other needy brother or sister. But the practice of caring for these people could be abused. And one way was housing someone who in reality was not a believer, but instead was an enemy of the Gospel. And it is to this situation that John speaks, in his second epistle.
To be continued.
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