A shared meal at a restaurant, an afternoon of golf together, doing homework together at the kitchen table - these are all ways to show hospitality to a guest. Hospitality is an act of friendship or giving pleasure to a guest. Hospitality is taking something that is yours and offering it to someone else - it can involve time, money, food or a place to sleep.
Most cultures have certain traditions about taking care of guests. In your native culture, what are the traditional ways of showing hospitality to a guest? Does the host have specific responsibilities? Does the guest have specific responsibilities? Is hospitality a duty on some occasions? Do people have guests often or rarely?
Think about when you were a child. When your parents showed hospitality, what was your role? Did you like it when your parents were showing hospitality? How old were you when you started showing hospitality on your own?
Do you like to show hospitality now? Are there things that prevent you from doing it? How do you show hospitality to family visitors, friends, teachers, coworkers, bosses or others? Do you regard it as a pleasure or a duty or both? What would you like to improve at in showing hospitality?
Do you need your own home or apartment to show hospitality? Why or why not?
Do you ever show hospitality to strangers? Is hospitality to strangers a part of your cultural tradition? Explain.
What do you think of the hospitality of the woman in the following story? If someone created a room for you, would it be hard for you to accept it? Why or why not?
day Elisha went to the town of Shunem.
A rich woman lived there. She
begged him to stay and have a meal. So
every time he came by, he stopped there to eat.
The woman said to her husband, “That man often comes by here. I know that he is a holy man of God. Let’s make a small room for him on the roof. We’ll put a bed and a table in it. We’ll also put a chair and a lamp in it. Then he can stay there when he comes to visit us.”
Read 2 Kings 4:11-37 for the surprising things that happened to the woman after this.