Family faith-sharing tip:
Children learn how to be hospitable in their own homes. They learn to care, share, tidy away, serve, and be polite and friendly. Have the courage to be hospitable because God will bless you for it. Keep it simple—the most important thing is for people to leave your home feeling happy and loved, not having a perfect menu and decor. You can even be hospitable outside your home by taking food to other people’s homes, sharing picnics, and taking goodies to shut-ins. Remember to be hospitable to your own family too. Jesus said that whoever gives a cup of water to a child in His name, gives that cup of water to Jesus Himself.
- Hebrews 13:2; Matthew 10:42; 25:40
- Hospitality is a wonderful way to share God’s love with others. Whatever we do for others, we are also doing for Jesus.
- Whatever you need to create a fun tea party, barbecue meal, picnic, etc. Make it as special as you can with any touches your own children would appreciate.
- Paper and pens
- Red and white posterboard (thin card)
- Paper glue
- Brass fasteners, beads, or brads to make a small door handle (optional)
What you do:
- Serve a special tea party, picnic, barbecue, or fun snack to your children.
- Discuss what it would be like if Jesus were coming to your home tomorrow.
- Plan a “Jesus visit” together. Write down all your ideas.
- What would you give Him to eat?
- How would you set the table?
- What else would you do in your home and yard to prepare for Him?
- What would you like to do with Him?
- What would you like to ask Him or talk to Him about?
- What do you think it would be like to have Jesus in your home?
- What would be the best thing about having Jesus in your home?
- What would be the most important thing to do?
- What job would each person like to do to prepare for Him and then serve Him?
- Now think of a person nearby who doesn’t get invited to people’s homes very often, but who would love to have some simple food and some pleasant company. Invite them to visit you and do as many things for them as you planned to do for Jesus.
- Make a “door-to-my-heart” prayer. Assist your child or children in the following:
- Cut out two hearts for each child, one out of red posterboard and one out of white poster board. Draw a rectangle in the middle of the red hearts—like a door. Cut the rectangle along the top and bottom and one side to make a hinged door. Fold it open.
- Glue the heart with a door on top of the plain white heart, matching the edges. Trim if necessary.
- Use a small brass fastener or brad to make a handle for the door. Or attach a bead.
- Open the door and write a prayer to God, inviting Him to come and live in your heart.
- Decorate the heart in any way you like.
- Display it where it will remind you to invite God into your heart and to invite other people into your home or friendship group.
“Papa Panov’s Special Christmas” is a story by Leo Tolstoy that tells a lovely tale of Christian hospitality. You can probably find a copy of it online.