“What does it mean to offer Outrageous Hospitality to others?”
Isn’t that an awesome question? I wish I had asked it, but the question was posed on Facebook last November by the editors of The High Calling. I love this question. And, it makes me think. Really think.
What does Outrageous Hospitality even mean? I responded with a blog post to the original question, but for the past eleven months the notion of outrageous hospitality has been banging around in my head.
I grew up in the 70s & 80s. In Dallas. The Ewing Family and Martha Stewart reigned supreme. Certainly I knew many gracious and hospitable women, my mother being the best role model ever, but the culture around me screamed entertainment. And being from Big D? Well, as they say, “everything is bigger in Texas.” And in Dallas, the bigger the better. Big hair. Big parties. BIG entertainment.
If the first twenty years of my life were influenced by BIG, I’ve spent the last two decades learning to be small. Ironically, this is a big undertaking. Luckily, God’s got my back. And, he’s been teaching me what hospitality means from his perspective, not the world’s, or even Big D’s.
God gave me the spiritual gift of hospitality and the ministry of my kitchen table. Even though I’ve been writing about food & faith for nearly a decade, I feel like I’m only just beginning to scratch the surface of what God’s teaching me. Which is why I thought we’d spend the month of October learning together about Outrageous Hospitality.
What do we know about hospitality?
- The practice of hospitality almost always includes a shared meal.
- Hospitality is central to the meaning of the Gospel.
- When we welcome strangers into our homes we tear down walls of division and alienation.
- Sharing a table promotes inclusion.
- The very act of breaking bread (or tortilla chips!) together validates the worth of those gathered at the table.
I’m not a theologian or a politician, but I believe most social ills could be addressed or prevented by the simple act of sharing a meal. There I go again with a BIG statement. But change in our families, communities, and the world might be accomplished one small bite at a time by offering genuine hospitality to others. And because BIG tendencies die hard in me, make that OUTRAGEOUS hospitality.
Y’all know I’m a fool for suppertime. My friend and neighbor, Susie and I are about half way through our year long challenge 52 Sunday Suppers. 31 Days of Outrageous Hospitality is an extension of the heart behind 52 Sunday Suppers. Think of our next month together as adding leaves to the dining room table. I’ll be expanding the conversation and meaning behind the importance of gathering at the table.
Together we’ll get to the heart of hospitality.
A little housekeeping before we get started. If you aren’t already subscribed to my blog, please sign up to receive the 31 Days of Outrageous Hospitality posts via email. Join the conversation on The Schell Cafe Facebook page and instagram.
I’m excited and so grateful you are here. At the end of each day, I’ll pose a question called table talk. Let’s start a meaningful conversation. Join me and post your answer in the comment section below.
Day 1: Table Talk
What does Outrageous Hospitality mean to you?
Welcome to the table, friends.