Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Entertaining as a ministry

Mark and I have yet to establish an official ministry commitment together as a couple.  Separately we have our own ministries: Jen: seven different parish ministries, Mark: Young Life and a few parish ministries.  We expect to discern this year what we can commit to together as a couple.

I was thinking about it the other day, though, and I think we already have an unofficial ministry together -- we love to entertain in our home.  How is this a ministry, you ask?  Let me explain my thoughts.

At the minimum of once a month, we invite a couple or family into our home for dinner.  We treasure this one-on-one time with close friends of ours and love to catch up with what's going on in their lives, giving them our undivided attention.

I've told miscellaneous friends of mine before that it almost stresses me out, sometimes, when I walk into a room full of people I know because I don't know whom to talk to first, and half the time, I'm distracted in conversation because I want to make sure I, at least, say hello to my friends so as not to be rude and miss them.  By doing so, I'm not being uber-friendly by not giving whomever I'm speaking to my full attention and listening ear.  Therefore, being able to get the intimate time with friends in our home is something Mark and I have grown to love.

I liken "entertaining as a ministry" to the ministry of hospitality. 

"Contribute to the needs of the holy ones, exercise hospitality." Romans 12:13

Romans 12 is one of my favorite chapters of the Bible!  It was the second reading at our wedding.

"Above all, let your love for one another be intense because love covers a multitude of sins.  Be hospitable to one another without complaining."  1 Peter 4: 8, 9

Hospitality is just loving.  Loving on those whom God places in your path.  What better way is there to love them than to welcome them into your most personal space, your home, and treating them as guests of honor, as family?  Welcoming people into your home may not be an official parish ministry or community nonprofit organization, but I like to think it's an important ministry in which Mark and I try to love as Jesus loves and treat others as we would treat ourselves.

"'Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?'  He said to him, 'You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.  This is the greatest and the first commandment.  The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.  The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.'"  Matthew 22: 36 - 40

June 2008, Destin!

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