Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. (Romans 12:9-13)
In Romans 12:13 God commands us to practice hospitality. Hearing that word makes my body rigid, trembling with fear because of the work involved. I think about making food, cleaning the house, and entertaining. In Luke 10:38-41, Martha is in the kitchen frantically making food for Jesus. No doubt she had just finished tidying and cleaning. She is most likely hot and tired, hangry because Mary is sitting, in Martha’s mind doing nothing. Martha complains to Jesus. “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” Ouch! Jesus is her guest, and Martha is trying to put him into the middle of an argument. Awkward! In reality Mary “sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to all he said.” Jesus tells Martha that when being hospitable “only one thing is needed” – listening, being humble. Sit at your guest’s feet, look into their eyes, and listen. So, Marthas of the world, next time you make lasagna, make two and put one in the freezer. Be prepared.