Luke 14:12 | Flourishing & Hospitality

Amy Dodson-Watts contemplates how food justice builds and strengthens community.


Please update your Web browser to view this video.

What You Do Matters

What would you like to do next with Luke 14:12 | Flourishing & Hospitality?

Luke 14:12 | Flourishing & Hospitality

How do we allow hospitality to transform us into a flourishing community?


Extra wide luke1412

 

What does it mean to flourish? Many of us may experience mental images of something akin to a flower blooming, literally burgeoning into what we as humans often consider its full beauty and glory. We know that there is more to the flower than what we see, but we tend to celebrate what we as humans judge to be its particular moment of thriving and beauty. Yet, if we look up Bible verses on flourishing, nearly all of them (almost depressingly) indicate that there is difficulty, or at least change, that we must engage and endure to reach the moment of our “full glory.” What’s that about?

A friend recently began an elimination diet, and in describing the headaches and withdrawals that she experienced in the first few days, remarked: “I realized that this is what flourishing feels like.” As her body was learning to transition away from its dependence on unhealthy foods, and to instead embrace more life-giving foods that nurture to her body and well-being, both she and her body had to learn to adjust to being fed in a different way. Flourishing is an ongoing process of transition and transformation, not a specific moment or achievement.

We are frequently taught to believe that difficulty or pain means that we are doing something that is harming us. In its basic concept, however, pain means only that what we are doing hurts. It may hurt because it is harming us; it may hurt because we are still attached to what we need to let go, and haven’t yet learned to release. Discernment matters here, because the wisdom in discernment helps us to understand whether we are to cease what we are doing that is causing damaging pain, or that we are to push through the pain and bear forward to reach our place of glory through flourishing.

We tend to perform hospitality in the same way in which we are taught to encounter pain. When we do welcome others or agree to share spaces, we share only up to the point or moment of discomfort. When we serve meals to those who are hungry, we rarely sit and eat with them, and heaven forbid that they be invited to serve with us. It would be uncomfortable. What would we talk about? How would we be together? Well…We could be children of God together. We could be sports fans together. We could be people who love music together. We could be. Together. We could be any number of things together, but we cannot discover what any of them may be until we choose to be brave, and push past our own discomfort or pain to witness what on the other side of that pain God is calling us to build and live.

It is when we say yes to living through and past our discomfort that we enter transformation, that we begin to flourish. Hospitality is an entry point; to choose to flourish together is to what we are called.

What You Do Matters

What would you like to do next with Luke 14:12 | Flourishing & Hospitality?

Take Action


Luke 14:12 | Flourishing & Hospitality

Transforming our communities from hospitality into flourishing.


  1. If you encounter a person who is in distress in some sense—if they need someone to talk with, or if they are a person who is homeless—ask they how they are, and listen. Listening is the gesture of hospitality, not the query. It’s in listening and being present that we develop the capacity and opportunities for flourishing. We are not here to “save” or “fix” others. We are here to be with one another.

 

  1. Read Sara Miles’ memoir, Take This Bread. It chronicles and offers a beautiful understanding and example of a community which originally develops because of need, but grows and strengthens in a spirit of coming together and supporting one another as people.

 

  1. If you are in a helper volunteer position or job, consider how your job or role is set up. Does it compel relationship that casts you as more than “giver,” and those coming in the “receivers?” Does everyone have an opportunity and empowerment to, in their God-giftedness and in their calling, contribute to the community where you serve? Consider how might you be able to open the space more and more to allowing the latter to occur. Encourage others in your community to do the same.

What You Do Matters

What would you like to do next with Luke 14:12 | Flourishing & Hospitality?

Sign Up to Stay Involved!

Want to stay involved with this community and continue to get updates as they are available? Click below to sign up today! It’s easy and free.

Sign Up Now ×

Share