December 2008
Billie Silvey
Of  Memory
Any hospitality we may show is but a feeble reflection of the
hospitality of God, the Great Host.  God made the world and
everything in it.  He welcomed us, the people he had made,
to live in it and enjoy its fruits.

Scripture is full of God's loving invitation and provision.  
There's the Great Banquet to which the poor, crippled and
blind were invited.  There's the Good Samaritan, who found
a wounded stranger on the road and provided for his needs.  
And there's Jesus' invitation to open the doors of our hearts
and invite him in for supper.
It started with the Exodus,
when God led his people,
the Israelites, from slavery
in Egypt.  He established
the Passover, a meal of
deliverance, to celebrate
the fact that the angel of
death passed over the
homes where the
feast--the sacrificial lamb,
unleaven bread, bitter
herbs, and  wine--was
being shared.
It continued through the Last Supper of Jesus, when he celebrated the
Passover with his disciples before his Crucifixion.
And it continues today as Jews celebrate the
Passover and Christians, the Lord's
Supper-- feasts rich in symbolism and deep

I remember the Passover we celebrated
with our Jewish friends Bob and Rebecca
Rona, and the emotion we shared as Bob
explained the significance of the feast.
And every week, I take the bread, symbol of Jesus' body, and the
cup, of his blood, to remember his death until he comes again.

These are common meals, taken together to express our unity with
God and with each other.  They are feasts held to remember
significant events in our religious history, and they are feasts
connecting our past, present and future lives in God, our Great Host.
Roots of Hospitality
Welcoming Strangers