Thursday, October 29, 2009

"He who practices hospitality entertains God Himself."
Hospitality is still on my mind. Perhaps its the weather. In autumn and in winter, when the air is cold and the wind is blowing, guests, comfort, and a welcoming home become more important to me. Today our zakuska has only ciabatta, oranges, and tea. I am not expecting anyone to stop by, but how many times have we heard the story of the Unexpected Guest, who is Christ. How sad if Christ came and found no welcome!
There is another Russian tradition that I love relating to hospitality. It is a city tradition, and if we lived in a more walkable city I would practice it: when families were home at night, and welcoming guests in Moscow, they would leave a candle burning in a prominent window so that any friends passing by could see that they were welcome within. It was an informal invitation to share the evening with friends. Now that our society spends so little time walking around towns and cities, it is an impractical tradition to ressurrect, but I love the openness and the generosity of that sort of attitude towards guests. Who knows who might stop by, perhaps even Christ!

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