Call to extend God’s hospitality
Examples in John and our own life display true hospitality and how we must not keep it to ourselves. | Kyle Kohner/THE CHIMES
Former Talbot University professor Mickey Klink and senior pastor from Roscoe, IL kicked off the first session of Missions Conference by defining missions as hospitality.
More than just serving pizza
Klink pointed out that the entire gospel accentuates God’s hospitality towards us. Many people view hospitality as simply serving pizza to your friends. Klink utilized the book of John and two examples to show that the mission of God carries a vastly greater significance than just serving pizza. Furthering God’s mission shares something with others that cost God and Jesus drastically. God’s gift was His one and only Son dying for us.
Through John 3, Klink explored the encounter between Jesus and Nicodemus. He argued that the Pharisees sent Nicodemus to shame Jesus. While many readers of John 3 interpret this passage as casual dialogue between the two men, this situation established the hostility between God and man. Nicodemus, the most honorable of the Jews, attempted to shame Jesus. Nicodemus tried to do this by raising difficult questions and appealing to his high position. While Jesus refuted all of Nicodemus’ arguments with truth, Klink stressed the most important part of John 3 that many people often overlook: Jesus presents the gospel to Nicodemus. John 3:16 tells the reader that Jesus made the gospel available to all of us, and not just Nicodemus.
In his second example of God’s hospitality, Klink shared the story of the Samaritan woman in John 4. Klink points out that the Samaritan woman had never been offered hospitality. Jesus appeared and asked the Samaritan woman to show him hospitality by giving him a drink of water. She did not expect to receive true hospitality — or the living water — in return. WIth this display of Jesus’ hospitality, the Samaritan woman ran to tell her town what true hospitality is.
embodying Jesus’ hospitality
The entire message impacted students through the realization that the Church was sent to embody Jesus’ hospitality. The gospel motivates and sustains Christ’s hospitality in the Church. This year’s Missions Conference seeks to discover what it means to be a witness. Klink stated that being a witness means to explain the gospel with your words and show it by serving with your hands. He further emphasized that being a witness is aimed at strangers and even enemies of Christians.
Nicodemus and the Samaritan woman are not isolated examples. Showing Christian hospitality is sharing your personal story. You received God’s hospitality and now it is your mission to give that hospitality to the nations, even if they don’t want it. In our own lives, we didn’t want God’s hospitality before we had it, but since Christ showed his hospitality to us, we must be a witness to the nations with our words and our hands.