3 John 1-12 (NRSV)

1 The elder to the beloved Gaius, whom I love in truth. 2 Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, just as it is well with your soul. 3 I was overjoyed when some of the friends  arrived and testified to your faithfulness to the truth, namely how you walk in the truth. 4 I have no greater joy than this, to hear that my children are walking in the truth. 5 Beloved, you do faithfully whatever you do for the friends,  even though they are strangers to you; 6 they have testified to your love before the church. You will do well to send them on in a manner worthy of God; 7 for they began their journey for the sake of Christ,  accepting no support from non-believers.  8 Therefore we ought to support such people, so that we may become co-workers with the truth. 9 I have written something to the church; but Diotrephes, who likes to put himself first, does not acknowledge our authority. 10 So if I come, I will call attention to what he is doing in spreading false charges against us. And not content with those charges, he refuses to welcome the friends,  and even prevents those who want to do so and expels them from the church. 11 Beloved, do not imitate what is evil but imitate what is good. Whoever does good is from God; whoever does evil has not seen God. 12 Everyone has testified favorably about Demetrius, and so has the truth itself. We also testify for him,  and you know that our testimony is true.

Romans 12:13 (NIV)

13 Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

DEVOTION – Nola Passmore (Queensland, Australia

In southern India, our short-term mission team learned a few phrases in the local language and then set out in pairs to use those words with people we met.  My friend and I saw a man sitting outside a house.  We tried to start a conversation using our few phrases, which roughly translated, “Hello.  I am Nola, and this is John.  We are trying to learn your language, we cannot speak your language properly.”  The man spoke English and invited us into his home.  His family prepared some food and drink for us, and he spent an hour helping us to learn different words.  We were overwhelmed with the hospitality shown to us, especially as we were strangers from a different culture and religion.  I wonder if I would have been so generous if someone from another country had knocked on my door.

Hospitality is sometimes undervalued, but it has been an important ministry from the first days of the church.  Gaius, one of the early Christians, welcomed traveling missionaries and thereby shared in their work.  Diotrephes was more interested in his own position in the church.  Not only did he fall to welcome the missionaries, but also tried to prevent others from doing so.  Whose example will we follow?

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: To whom can I show hospitality this week?

LINK2LIFE:Go to devotional.upperroom.org/blog to see a picture of Nola with other members of the mission team.

PRAYER: Dear God, help us to welcome others and to show them your love so that they can see you in our words and actions.  Amen.