by Heather Tietz
For through him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God.
Mount Vernon, George Washington’s home, welcomed on average 600 visitors a year during our first president’s lifetime. Washington wrote, however, that one year, he and Martha had hosted over 1000 people! He is the poster child for southern hospitality. At a time when taverns were few and travel was difficult, the south opened up their homes to any visitor who came knocking. A close look at Washington’s estate will reveal the great comfort he afforded his guests. Bedrooms for the company had colorfully painted walls, ornate wallpaper, beautiful bedding and carpets, elegance that he didn’t even decorate his own sleeping quarters with.
Our God was the originator of southern hospitality. “For He makes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and the unjust” (Matthew 5:45).
God is gracious to strangers, to even those that don’t know His name, or those that refuse to bend to it. But, like our first president, the doors of grace don’t stay open forever to strangers. At some point, strangers must leave. Only family has a permanent place at the table and in the house. Only those who love the host, those who are willing to put in a helping hand, get all the benefits of family.
What a wonderful family you have been welcomed into!