Friendship, Listening, and Empathy: A Prayer GuideTwo Hands: Grief and Gratitude in the Christian LifeSabbath Keeping FastingA Renewed SpiritualityNurturing Hope: Christian Pastoral Care in the Twenty-First CenturyThe Power of ListeningJoy Together: Spiritual Practices for Your CongregationPersonality Type in CongregationsPrayers of the Old TestamentPrayers of the New TestamentSabbathFriendingA Garden of Living Water: Stories of Self-Discovery and Spiritual GrowthDeath in Dunedin: A NovelDead Sea: A NovelDeadly Murmurs: A NovelBeating Burnout in CongregationsReaching Out in a Networked WorldEmbracing MidlifeAdvent DevotionalDraw Near: Lenten Devotional by Lynne Baab, illustrated by Dave Baab

Praying about the emotions of hospitality

Lynne Baab • Tuesday June 13 2023

Praying about the emotions of hospitality

“Hospitality . . . is a feeling: genuine, welcoming, generous, restorative, safe. —Bethany Jean Clement, Seattle Times staff writer

I captured that quotation because I loved the list of descriptors the author uses. I thought her words were marvelous fuel for prayers about being hospitable. However, the more I thought about it, the more questions I had.

One way to look at this quotation is that Clement is describing the feelings evoked in the person receiving hospitality. However, those feelings usually also a play a role for the giver of hospitality.

Before I dive deeper into the questions the quotation raised for me, let me...

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Hospitality and prayer

Lynne Baab • Tuesday May 30 2023

Hospitality and prayer

I wonder what comes to mind when you hear the word “hospitality.” Hosting people in your home for meals or overnight? Perhaps larger-scale hospitality events like meals at church for church members or the wider community? In your mind, does hospitality usually or always involve food?

I recently taught a class on spiritual practices for a Christian university. My students were all in their thirties or forties. In the online discussion about hospitality, two of my students wrote about how they are perfectly comfortable hosting their kids' friends. However, when the parents or other adults show up, these two students said they...

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Creative prayer in a hospitable spirit

Lynne Baab • Friday April 5 2019

Creative prayer in a hospitable spirit

In 1999, I read a book that changed my life – Making Room: Recovering Hospitality as a Christian Tradition by Christine Pohl. I’ve had two decades to ponder the notion that hospitality is a major theme throughout the Bible. For two decades, I’ve viewed all Christian ministry under the umbrella of hospitality, rather than vice versa, as I did before 1999.

What are the implications of this stance? Each encounter with another person is an opportunity to express a hospitable spirit, a welcoming attitude for who they are and what gifts they might offer to me and to others. Hospitality happens in...

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Contrasts: Guests and hosts

Lynne Baab • Saturday June 9 2018

Contrasts: Guests and hosts

Two people meet a stranger on a road. As they walk together, the stranger gives them a new perspective on the Hebrew Scriptures. When they arrive at their home, they invite the stranger in for a meal.

At the meal, the stranger picks up bread, breaks it and hands it to the other two. In that moment, the stranger is revealed to be Jesus.

In the Road to Emmaus story (Luke 24:13-35), a guest at the meal – a stranger – briefly becomes the host, the Lord Jesus Christ. People who write and teach about hospitality call this the guest-host shift, and this...

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