Retrospective 2010

As it turns out, 2010 was the first year I blogged something every month. It’s harder to chose just one to reflect the development of the blog, but I did start responding more often to things I was reading. An example of this is a post called why I believe in unicorns.

I continued writing about marriage, of course, such as this post on being naked and not ashamed. But I had several posts about hospitality as well. Here is one, about hospitality in the life of a church:

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The hospitality of Abraham

Everyone in the church family is, well, family.

This means any single woman in our church should be welcome in any home as a sister in Christ, each single man esteemed for any act of service to his God, each child treasured as a son or daughter in the Lord. Our faces should brighten when we see each other.

To welcome each other in this way is not just a lost art in a hurried world, but a neglected responsibility. And it requires more than smiles and hugs. Genuine hospitality should flourish in a healthy church.

1 Peter 4 says “Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” So we serve each other in this way, and we do it without grumbling.

Such hospitality begins at home. If we can’t cheerfully serve each other there, we can’t do it at church either. Put differently, healthy families change the spirit of a congregation as much as they change the spirit of a home. And by grace even that distinction can blur.

In a healthy church the widows are cared for, the orphans loved, the stranger welcomed. Strong families can do this. Weak families can’t.

That’s because dysfunctional families often turn inward, hiding their pains and focusing on their problems while healthy families turn outward, opening themselves to others, sharing God’s blessings without reservation.

As a pastor for family ministries, I want each wife to feel cherished. I want her husband’s heart to leap with gratitude each time he sees her. I want each husband to feel respected, even if his wife no longer swoons. And of course I want a church full of obedient, cheerful children, even if they are teenagers.

But I want more than this. I want the family of God to reflect the love of God.

When this happens, no one will have to eat alone.

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About wally metts

Wally Metts is the daysman. He is director of graduate studies in communication at Spring Arbor University and is a pastor at Countryside Bible Church in Jonesville, MI. The father of four adult children, he and his wife Katie raise barn cats and Christmas trees in Michigan. His grandchildren call him Santa.

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