The Gospel Comes with a House Key
Do I seek to love strangers? Do I often invite others into my home? These are questions Rosaria Butterfield’s book helped me confront.
She became a Christian after being part of the LGBT community. And as she began going to church, she noticed something missing that she’d previously experienced – a real sense of community.
Her book The Gospel Comes With a House Key shows how much God cares about community in our churches and neighbourhoods.
And if God cares about it, so should we.
Radically ordinary hospitality
So how can we create this community? Butterfield suggests that radically ordinary hospitality means loving the stranger.
“Use your Christian home in a daily way that seeks to make strangers neighbours, and neighbours family of God. It brings glory to God, serves others, and lives out the gospel in word and deed.”
This came as a personal challenge: Is this the way I use my home? How can I grow in this?
Hospitals and incubators
She answers that one too. She compares hospitality to a hospital and an incubator.
These are places where damage is repaired, where people are cared for and kept alive. And hospitality does just that – it makes our homes “hospitals and incubators”.
She gives many suggestions for hospital-and-incubator-style love. One that particularly struck me was praying I’d be a safe person to hear the burdens of my neighbour’s hearts.
I often pray that others would open up to me. But I rarely pray that the way I love and serve others would offer them the safety to do so .
This call to create loving, hospitable community has encouraged me to open up my home to strangers. I pray that it’ll do the same for you.