Updated: Oct 27, 2021
Open Heart, Open Hands, Open Home
Hospitality is a theme woven throughout the whole Bible from the Garden of Eden to the book of Revelation. The New Testament Greek word for hospitality (philoxenia) means “love of strangers.” This points to the motivation of love that determines a person’s actions rather than a specific list of rules on how to practice hospitality. Jesus’ love in us opens our hearts to love others. The presence of Jesus creates “supernatural sacred space” where miracles can happen, healings can occur, sins can be forgiven, and lives can be transformed (Krstulovich 2020, p. 239).
Lydia, a businesswoman from Thyatira, is a beautiful example of opening her home after God opened her heart.
On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there. One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message. When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home. “If you consider me a believer in the Lord,” she said, “come and stay at my house.” And she persuaded us. (Acts 16:13-15)
The Bible instructs Christians to “Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality” (Rom. 12:13), “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares,” (Heb. 13:2), to “Show hospitality to one another without grumbling” (1 Peter 4:9), and understand that being hospitable must be evident to qualify for the office of overseer in church leadership (1 Tim. 3:2; Titus 1:7-9). Our motivations, attitudes, and intentionality either facilitate or hinder hospitality.
In an extension of divine hospitality, Jesus Christ extends His invitation to all humankind and welcomes people of every tribe, language, people, and nation who believe in Him to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb in heaven
(Rev. 7:9, Rev. 19:6-9).
“Has God been speaking to you on this refugee journey? What would it take…?”
To smile at someone from another country when you meet him or her in the supermarket, at school, in your community?
To say hello to a refugee you meet? (see sayhelloinfo.com)
To pray for refugees? Start a Jumaa Prayer Fellowship at your church to pray every Friday for Muslims (jumaaprayer.com)
To donate household items?
To give food for a refugee family?
To listen to a refugee’s story?
To learn about a refugee’s country, history, religion, and culture?
To invite a refugee to your home for a meal?
To learn phrases in the refugee’s language?
To share your life-changing faith in the Lord Jesus Christ with a refugee?
As Afghan refugees continue to arrive in cities all over the United States, will you pray?
Pray for neighbors who will receive them. Pray for them as they adjust to this new life and culture. Pray that Jesus would lead them to exactly the place that He has marked out for them to live, so that they can come to know Him.
Pray that refugees will meet a Christian friend who will love them and tell them about Jesus. Pray for Jesus to appear to them in dreams and visions. Pray that they would experience answers to prayer, miracles, and healing that they will know are from Jesus.
As Ray Bakke reminds us, “Jesus was born in a borrowed barn in Asia and became an African refugee. So the Christmas story is about an international migrant.”
Enjoy all 10 days of "The Refugee Journey" in one printable document. Free download.
Check out this list of biblical resources available online in Pashto and Dari, the two primary Afghan languages. Also, check out some of the resources available to help prepare you as you reach out to Afghan refugees with the love of Jesus. Free Download!
Bakke, Raymond J. 1997. A Theology as Big as the City. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
Krstulovich, Donna. 2020. “A Case Study of the Practice of Hospitality to Extend Christ’s Welcome to Arab Muslim Women.” PhD diss., Assemblies of God Theological Seminary.