When people think of hospitality, they usually think of food. The immediate question is, “What shall we have?” Cultures around the world establish relationships by eating together. Many books have menu plans or entertaining suggestions. The ideas can be as creative and varied as people.
One lady said to another after church, “Please come to my house. We will have cornbread and we will talk.” The second lady accepted the invitation, expecting that cornbread would be part of a meal, but they had only cornbread. And they talked in depth. The guest declares that it was one of the best times she ever had.
Another person looks forward to a summer family picnic built around corn on the cob, yellow summer squash, and tomato sandwiches. Sometimes watermelon adds variety.
Hosts and hostesses create themed menus based on holidays, cultural foods, a particular object, or a color.
As you plan an event, think about these questions:
What do you want people to remember?
Do you want them to remember you as the perfect host or hostess?
Do you want them to tell everyone about the decorating, how perfectly awesome it was?
Or do you want people to come away saying, “I felt comfortable there.”
Or, “I could open up and know that I was accepted.”
Or, “I felt love when I was with those people.”
Or, “I felt the presence of God.”
True hospitality opens one’s self to others while sharing whatever gifts God has givenhim or her.*