I’m hosting Christmas for the first time this year, which would be a big deal in and of itself but it’s also our first Christmas with a baby. Having a 4-month-old makes things a bit more complicated, requires a little more planning and a heaping dose of grace from guests.
I believe in being a host even when it’s not easy or convenient. When you open your home up for people to come in – even if it’s not pretty or perfect and a little messy – you are giving people the opportunity to do the same. And trust me I don’t do this perfectly. I might still be a stress case an hour before our guests come over scrambling trying to clean up, but we can have goals right?
God’s pretty clear about the importance of hospitality in his instruction manual (aka The Bible):
1 Peter 4:9 Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.
Hebrews 13:2 Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.
1 Timothy 5:10 and is well known for her good deeds, such as bringing up children, showing hospitality, washing the feet of the LORD's people, helping those in trouble and devoting herself to all kinds of good deeds.
Romans 12:13 Share with the LORD's people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
Being hospitable isn’t just a nice thing to do every once in a while, it’s a commandment! My husband and I position ourselves in ways that we can live this out. We pray that our home is a refuge for our friends and family. We offer to host when we can, and to feed people. This doesn’t mean we don’t have boundaries. In this season especially, we’ve had to say no many times because #newbornlife. But our goal is to represent Christ well in that calling.
If I’m being completely honest, I am going to be purchasing a pre-cooked tri-tip from our local market and having everyone else bring sides. I’m going to use my great-grandmother’s china, because I take pride in setting a beautiful table and it also brings me joy! Are you following my game plan? Keep the food easy-peasy and focus on the fun part, whatever that is for you, for me it’s the decorating!
I hope this inspires you, if you are having Christmas tomorrow, your house doesn’t have to be perfect and the food doesn’t have to be from scratch. And if you aren’t hosting, please have grace for the person who is. How about we lower our expectations and focus on the real reason we’re together?
Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a season of peace and love!
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Nicole resides in the East Bay Area where she works as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. She and her beloved husband serve as small group leaders in their growing young adult ministry. She completed both her bachelors degree and her dietetic internship at California State University, Chico, where she was also a NCAA cross country and track athlete. Through those experiences, God prompted her to help people of all shapes and sizes discover body peace and acceptance through the unconditional love of Jesus. Nicole most enjoys spending time around a table and cooking for the people she loves.