Practice Hospitality

Romans 12:13 – Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality. (NIV)

Traditionally, we like our family to be together on Christmas Day. If that is physically impossible, we at least try to make contact by telephone or webcam.

One Christmas Day, my son and his family were at their home in the beautiful mountains of British Columbia, Canada, while our daughter's family were at our house in Toronto, Ontario. Our twin grandsons had a friend named Richard, whose parents were away in Australia on business. Because we include others in our family celebrations, he was invited to be part of the family for Christmas.

Using a speakerphone on each end, we connected. As each person spoke, they identified themselves. It was a lengthy, lively, loving conversation with lots of laughter, but when Richard spoke and said his name, my lawyer granddaughter, out in British Columbia, said, "Hold it! Do I have a cousin I don't know about?" When the situation was clarified, all was well, but it obviously made Richard move from being a stranger to being one of the family.

I now live in a residence where there are many widows, widowers, and others who feel bereft of family. There is frequent talk of how important it is that the staff and others make us feel part of the family.

A gentleman who sits at my table shared with me one day that he had no family. He was educated at Oxford, came to Canada with an unsuccessful marital arrangement, graduated from the University of Toronto with a PhD and was the Department Head of Psychology at one of Toronto's major hospitals until twenty years ago, when something inexplicably happened to his memory capacity.

There are two ladies who come in on alternate weekends to check on him. I spoke with one of them, and she validated the facts that he had told me. She had been his senior assistant and is still filling that position today. I am absolutely amazed that these two staff members are going out of their way to act as his family. He must have been a terrific boss to earn such loyalty.

The doctor has a great sense of humour. A few days ago, his watch stopped. He sent it out to have the battery replaced. He said he felt lost without his watch but when it was returned, he said that he felt like a new person. "Now," he said, "if only they could get a new battery for my brain, I would really feel great!"

I never knew this man until he moved in just over a year ago. Now, he is part of the family.

The need that we feel to be part of a family is universal. The opportunity that we each have to reach out and make others part of our family is equally wide open.

May we all make the effort to be a family builder at this holiday time.

Prayer: Dear Father, we thank You that Your love is demonstrated through Your relationship with Your Son, Jesus. We thank You that we can be part of Your family through His sacrifice. Even as we celebrate His birth may we reach out in love to others. In His name, we pray. Amen.

1 comment on this post.
  1. PresbyCan Feedback:

    May we do just that, Vincent.


    May God Almighty bless you with triple portion for sharing this God moment.


    Thank you for the great story, Vincent. May you and your family have a blessed Christmas!


    Thank you, Vincent, for sharing your “family” experience with us. Blessings this Christmas season.


    Helps me, Vincent. Grateful for your inclusiveness and the little details that make your writing so relevant to my life.


    Thank you, Vincent. I enjoy reading about your life and imagine that you do a great deal to create a sense of family where you live.


    What a lovely story Vince. Thank you for being such a wonderful Resident Ambassador!
    All the best to you and your family this holiday season.


    Yes, brother Vince I too pray we may all practice hospitality and as we Celebrate the birth of our Savior this Christmas include others to be a part our family gatherings as well.
    You have the biggest, most warming, giving heart! Through the blood of Jesus Christ


    Thank you for the precious devotional, Vincent Walter.
    How glad I am that you reach out to many others in your dwelling place with the good news of free salvation in Jesus Christ.
    Keep writing for Jesus sake.


    Hi Vincent,
    Yes, we do need people to comfort us in times of need especially, but there are times when we feel lonely even when we are surrounded by people.
    We wish you and those around you a very Blessed Christmas


    That phrase, ‘be a family builder’ is going to stick with me forever.
    We have been including extra people for some time now, and it really does feel as if they are part of our family gatherings. The idea of ‘building family’ is a GREAT way to describe it. Thank you for that. Blessings on you and your family, Vincent.


    Hello my friend
    Thank you, this was again a beautiful devotional and I may not know you but I feel like part of your family, in Christ I am.
    God bless you as you have a natural way of showing the love of God to everyone. May this truly be a very special Christmas for you and your family where you live.


    Hello Vincent,
    I want to let you know how much I appreciate your writing, and your insight. I find it very helpful to have your personal memories and current experiences as the basis of your devotional.
    Blessings on your writing, and I wish you a very blessed Christmas!
    (ON)


    Hi Vince,
    Many thanks for another poignant devotional. I’m sure God is well pleased when He sees us reach out and bring others into our family circle especially when we welcome the lonely and downtrodden.
    Blessings to you for your dedication to writing devotionals and may you enjoy a blessed Christmas time.
    (B.C.)


    Thank you for this much-needed message Vincent. Lonely and/or people who are alone, without family, reside in every care home, every senior residence, everywhere. London drugs is doing a wonderful thing this year, at least out here in BC, but I’m sure everywhere, and that is, they have an “angel tree” with tags on which a senior has written their first name and things they’d like for Christmas, not expensive items, things as simple as a pair of gloves and a box of chocolates. A person can choose a tag, and either purchase the items at London Drugs, which is then placed in a cloth bag, with the tag attached or, the tag can be taken, goods purchased elsewhere, and put in a bag or wrapped and returned to London Drugs with the tag intact. It’s been done for children by many charities for decades, but this is a wonderful and much needed initiative.
    May the Peace and Blessings of Christmas be with you.


    Dear Vince,
    Thank you for the devotional.
    Keep writing.