The current COVID-19 crisis has put many of us in a full to semi-quarantined state. We are watching church online. We are giving our tithes and offerings online. We are picking up our groceries with masks on or we are having them delivered to our house. We are even getting our pizzas delivered with out any human to human contact!
During this crisis, how can Christians practice hospitality? That is, how can we make our homes good hospitals for others? Let me suggest three ways to practice hospitality while still abiding by current government restrictions and social distancing.
- Do a Triad Bible Study. For millennia, Christians have met together in homes with small to very small groups. The recipe for a home Bible study is flexible, but should include reading the Bible, discussing what the text means and how it applies to our lives, and praying with one another. If you are healthy and know two others who are also healthy, consider inviting two other Christians to do a triad Bible study. Great helps can guide the study, or you can merely read a chapter and delve into the beauty of God’s perfect Word. If you don’t know where to start, consider discussing one Psalm each week and asking: (1) What did this mean to the Israelites? (2) How is it fulfilled in Jesus? and (3) Because of Jesus what does it mean to us today?
- Have a Porch Prayer Time. For those a bit more concerned about limiting any contact, try a front porch prayer visit. Maybe you or your whole family make a kind gift like a loaf of bread or a hand-sewn face-mask. Then, drop in on a friend’s house announced or unannounced. Put the gift in a bag on their doorknob, ring the doorbell, and step back to give some distance. Then, when they come to the door pray with one another both praising God for His kindness and asking His blessing on us all. This is a great way to practice hospitality with children because it is so easy to get them involved! Kids could also have sidewalk chalk to leave a message of encouragement on someone’s driveway.
- Write a Real Letter. Some of you may have numerous health complications or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19. For you, even a front porch visit may be too risky at present. Ask God to give you several people to write a real letter to. Take time to pray for them and to find a verse or passage from the Bible that would bless them. Then, write them a letter with substance. Writing a real letter (on paper, with a pen, that you must put in a physical mailbox), takes time and makes us slow down to consider what we are saying and why we are saying it. Enjoy this way to show hospitality to someone even from a distance.
May God bless you Christian brother or sister as you seek to practice hospitality even through this present crisis.