A Sunday (7) in the Life of a Pastor/Mother: Hospitality

19 We love because God first loved us. . . . 21 This commandment we have from him: Those who claim to love God ought to love their brother and sister also. (1 John 4.19, 21)

This morning, my daughter and I sported the side ponytail. Lately, she has been wanting to copy me in putting on lipstick, painting toenails, and now the side ponytail. It’s quite adorable to watch her decide what attributes of mine to copy.

If I think about it, I probably have my own list of things that I hope she would learn from me that goes beyond my side ponytail. I hope that I am able to teach her the importance of love and sharing that love with others. I hope that I can rub off on her a sense of hospitality – an ability to tap into her inner Martha Stewart.

I’ve been thinking about the art of hospitality and how important it is in one’s life and ministry. My church is very intentional about making worship a place that is hospitable to families with young children – removing barriers that make it difficult for them to feel comfortable. For example, allowing food and drinks in the sanctuary or providing space for strollers and crawling babies.

Lately, I’ve been having the older kids in Sunday School reflect on how their behavior contributes or prevents others from feeling comfortable. For example, when they play chase in the sanctuary, how does that make our senior members in walkers or parents with crawling babies feel?

Today, the kids learned about the Good Samaritan and made “Good Samaritan First Aid Kits.” Inside the kit were different objects that reminded them of how the Samaritan extended care and hospitality to a person in need. One of the objects was a heart that symbolized God’s love, the kind of love expressed in 1 John 4.

I imagine in a blink of an eye, my daughter will be borrowing more from me than a side ponytail – like money from my wallet or my clothes. But as she grows up, I’ll do my best to be a good role model of showing her how to love by loving her the best way I can.

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