Last evening, I had a group of college women over for dessert. We got acquainted, drank chai, and they even coaxed the neighbor’s dog to join in. Glamorous pumpkin craft for anybody? They signed my Bible guestbook, I prayed for them, and they went back to their homework in the dorms, hopefully warmed and filled. It’s not always an easy thing to pull off for me, mentally or physically, but the time together is always worth it!
Hospitality doesn’t just happen, especially in a context of California’s extreme business, tall fences, and “Don’t talk to strangers.” But loving strangers and anticipating needs is part and parcel of the call of every believer.
Rosaria Butterfield reminds us in her book “The Gospel Comes with a Housekey”:
Christians are called to do God’s work in desperate times. It is deadly to ignore biblical teaching about serving the stranger – deadly to the people who desperately need help and deadly to anyone who claims Christ as King. . . Hospitality is the ground zero of the Christian life, biblically speaking.Butterfield, p. 115
I need this reminder. I need to remember that I am always either a host or a guest. I desperately desire to reflect the hospitable, pursuant love of my God who saw me in all of my sin and yet welcomed me into His family. I need to keep reminding myself that hospitality isn’t about entertaining–its about loving. It’s not about how much effort I put on decorating, but how much I care.
So, join me here over the next days as I think through the Biblical call to be hospitable, and along the way, I’ll include some ideas I have learned from friends along the way–like this chai recipe I served last evening:
Quick Chai for the Win
- 6-8 black tea bags (I like to use decaf Earl Grey) and 4 quarts of hot water
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- 10 cloves
- 2 anise stars
- 3-4 cups of half and half OR 2 cans of evaporated milk–either at room temperature
- 2 cans of sweetened condensed milk OR more of the above milk and sugar to taste
I make my chai in a crock pot for less maintenance. 2-3 hours before the event, add the hot water, tea bags, and spices to the crockpot on high and set the lid on, but leave a crack open–You don’t want a rolling boil. About 45 minutes before your guests arrive, remove the tea bags and spices and add the milks in, stirring occasionally. Enjoy!