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Dr. Shield's Blog

Divine Hospitality

“And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.”  (Luke 2:7)  

Advent is a season of anticipation and preparation, inviting us to receive the divine hospitality in the gift of Jesus Christ.  Advent is a time for opening our hearts to God in repentance and faith, waiting in expectation for the coming of Christ.  As we celebrate his birth long ago in Bethlehem, we also anticipate his coming into our lives as Living Lord.  

In Bethlehem, there was no room for the Holy Family, no hospitality for Mary, so that she had to give birth to her firstborn son in a place where animals fed.  Yet, though there was no room in the inn for Jesus, Jesus makes room in his Father’s house for you and me through his death on the cross for our sin.  The divine hospitality extends infinite mercy to us all.  

So in this season, there is something within us that encourages us to open our hearts, our hands, our homes in hospitality.  In some countries, there is still an old tradition of placing candles in the window, to signal to the Holy Family that there is room in the house for Jesus to lay his head.  

Let’s set a special intention in our hearts to show hospitality to one another and to our neighbors in this season.  I encourage you to invite friends, co-workers, classmates, people you encounter in daily life, to come with you to worship.  Your hospitality to others may become a sign to them of the divine hospitality, of God inviting us into fellowship and communion with our Lord and with one another.  Let’s say to the stranger what we also want to say to Jesus, “There’s room for you in our hearts!”  

Grace and peace,

Bob Shield