Bishop's Bookshelf: Open hearts, open doors

10/2/2007

Recommendation: Making Room: Recovering Hospitality as a Christian Tradition
By Christine D. Pohl

Comments: Hospitality is central to the life of Christian faith. For most of church history, hospitality was central to Christian identity. Christians were “welcomers.” In our time, we are losing this rich, life-giving practice.

Christine Pohl, professor of Christian social ethics at Asbury Theological Seminary, opens our understanding of the deep Biblical roots of the practice of Christian hospitality. She combines compassion with unflinching realism: It is difficult to extend welcome, yet it is essential to our witness. 

 Interviews with people in contemporary communities of hospitality — the Catholic Worker, L’Abri, L’Arche, Good works, Jubilee Partners, St. John’s Abbey and others — demonstrate to us the necessity, the difficulty and the blessing of practicing hospitality today.

As we open our hearts and doors to each other, especially to the stranger, to the “strange,” to the poor, to the weak and to the different, Jesus opens God’s heart to us.  Disciples are naturally “welcomers.”  As we become like Jesus, we become hospitable people who offer welcome.

Where the spirit of Christ is present, there is always room. 

Cokesbury Bookstore in Ridgeland offers a 25 percent discount on the monthly Bishop’s Bookshelf selections. This is a limited-time offer.