Our Creator God is the cosmic host. The Bible begins with God as the subject of creation who in love creates space for humans and the world to exist as a dependent reality upon Him. The Gospel of John tells us that it was the Word of God (Jesus) who was the chief actor in all that was created (John 1:3). God made room for creatures who became His guests and recipients of divine provision. Shouldn’t we forever remain grateful to God!
What a privilege for Adam and Eve to live in the pristine environment of the Garden. As bearers of God’s image, they enjoyed a unique relationship with their divine Host; who sets down regulations for the behaviour of His guests. Sadly, together Adam and Eve disobeyed the wishes of their divine Host and shared a forbidden meal. This act resulted in their separation from the life of God, expulsion from Eden, and consignment to a life of hardship and agricultural toil for an edible harvest. However, the stranger, the lost, and even the enemy exist by the same act of divine hospitality.
The same Word of God who made space for humans later became flesh and was called Jesus (John 1:14). But tragically, we were not at all hospitable to the One who is our ultimate Host. We crucified Him. But isn’t that just the nature of the very sin Jesus came to die for? Are we building walls and shutting people out?
Jesus came to remind us that hospitality is the universe’s keynote and it has been so from the beginning. Jesus is the greatest teacher and embodiment of hospitality. Jesus regularly received hospitality from others while at the same time extending to His hosts the welcome of the Kingdom of God. He confronted the norms of His day by inviting cultural aliens, “sinners” and “the righteous”, penniless and princes, and children women and men into His friendship and the embrace of God. Have you experienced the embrace of God?