What I’m about to share starts all the way back to my very first group of the spring (way back in March). The last day of service for the group started with one of the students leading devotions, she shared that at the end of each day she had written down a word that summarized the day. She shared each day’s word and I so enjoyed the reflection, it started me thinking about words and how they do summarize experiences.
Over the course of the next week, I realized that one word kept popping up in my thoughts, in what I was reading in the Bible, in our debriefs, basically everywhere…that word was generosity (throughout the spring I reflected on 2 Corinthians 8 & 9 a lot to process what I was learning about this word).
When the summer season here at CSM started I knew I wanted a new word, not only would the summer be different and therefore needed a different word, I would also enjoy having a new word to build upon and challenge me.
So my very first group of the summer came. I shared with them my word from the spring and wanted them to be thinking about a word to summarize their trip. A few times the group leader mentioned the word hospitality as we were at a ministry site or driving and I couldn’t quite understand what he was talking about…how did that word connect with anything we were doing that week? We weren’t welcoming anyone into our home for dinner (isn’t that what hospitality means?!)
During our last debrief, everyone shared their word. The group leader shared his word...and as you can guess, his word was hospitality. He said that one meaning of the word is “love for the stranger”. Wow! That is exactly what we do here at CSM. We attempt to love to people we have never met before and attempt to show them the love of Christ through our presence and acts of service.
“Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.” Romans 12:9-13
What a stretching experience hospitality can be, here at CSM we get the opportunity to daily show hospitality to the city of Washington, DC. And it is not always comfortable but it allows us to extend to others what God has shown us: love & relationship. I’m so thankful for the many strangers I’ve met!
-Ann, CSM Washington DC Summer 2011 City Host
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