Many Bible stories offer insight into the hospitality of God – his welcome of us mere mortals into fellowship with him, the Creator, Sustainer and King of the universe. That is truly awesome, unlike the almost meaningless use of the word in contemporary culture!
Luke’s Gospel is the book par excellence in providing such stories, and it is principally from his Gospel that I will mine the treasures of God’s hospitality. Luke’s over-arching perspective and essential purpose is to bring home to us a sense of the extravagance of God’s love and favour, especially toward the ‘least’.
Hospitality evokes pictures of guests, visitors, putting on meals and lodging for them “at home” – something which is frequently referenced in Luke. Moreover Luke sees Jesus’ life and ministry as a visitation on God’s part. This raises the question: how will this guest, this visitor, be received? Those who do receive him as visitor and guest find he becomes the host who offers a hospitality in which human beings can become truly human (as God’s beloved children and royal image bearers) and be at home in the depths of their hearts, which is salvation. [edited quote from The Hospitality of God, by Brendan Byrne]