Author: Vicar Corey
Easter season is almost over, and here at Holy Trinity we have been exploring the theme of Wonder, Surprise and New Possibility. We heard from Pastor Mike about the promise of Heaven Past, Present, and Future. Deacon Deb preached about saying I love you back to God through our service to other people, and Gary showed us the importance of youth and the blessing they are in our community. As we wrap up our Easter season of dreaming it is time to consider how we might turn these dreams into reality. How do we go out and meet all the possibilities we see being created around us?
One of the ways I think we can go out and seize our dreams is through hospitality. A hospitality that was modeled by Lydia in Acts 16. She meets the Apostle Paul and his companions outside Philippi and after listening to them invites them into her home. The Apostle trusts her because she has demonstrated a faithful heart through her invitation of hospitality.
I think there are two important parts of Lydia’s hospitality that we here at Holy Trinity can model. The first is by being hospitable outside the walls of the city. She didn’t wait for Paul to come to her in the place where she worked or lived. Instead she went outside the city, down by the river, which created the opportunity for her to offer hospitality to someone who needed it. In the same way we here at Holy Trinity shouldn’t limit our hospitality to the narthex before and after church, but instead we should take it out into the world where we might meet someone who desperately needs it.
The other aspect of Lydia’s hospitality that we can all model is listening. The only action Lydia seems to take in the whole story before being trusted by Paul is by “listening eagerly”. She listened so well Paul could sense her faithfulness to God. In the same way we can listen to others. Listen so that they know we hear them, and that we care about them.
The great thing about living and working around Holy Trinity is that there is ample opportunity to practice this amazing act of Hospitality. Northern Virginia is constantly in a state of flux. There are people moving here from all over the world to live and work around Washington. This means that there are always people looking for community, looking for someone to listen to them, and looking for a little hospitality. And we as followers of Jesus can do this so well. The divine man we follow and find our salvation in extended hospitality to everybody. He ate with tax collectors and harlots. He ate with rich and poor, young and old, and he eats with you every Sunday at the communion table. So the ability to be hospitable like Lydia is already within you, given to you by the spirit of Jesus Christ in whose name you are baptized.