by Dr. James H. Furr, President

I grew up in a rural community surrounded by aunts, uncles, and cousins. Folks from our small church constituted a second extended family. Consequently, countless chickens and other domestic animals gave their lives for the sake of innumerable meals as groups of family and friends routinely gathered to break bread and share life. Special highlights were holiday gatherings and hosting the pastor for Sunday lunches. We understood ourselves to be practicing hospitality, and, in the social sense, that’s a fair description.

In recent years, I’ve become increasingly aware of the value of hospitality as a spiritual discipline. The practice of welcoming friends and even strangers into one’s home is affirmed in many cultures. Predictably, the practice often takes into account the social standing of the guests so that the host is conscious of exchanging hospitable gestures with the highest possible social benefits. Distinctively Christian…

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