Monday, 2 June 2014

Hospitality

On holiday in Turkey with family
Wow, that was good!  Just been in Turkey for a week with my family.  We were in a resort near Fethiye http://www.turkeysforlife.com/p/10-fethiye-must-sees-dos.html  with one of those All Inclusive deals.  Food and Drink was just about permanently on tap.  It made me think of the generous hospitality of God, seen best in the invitation to share at the table of the Lord where we remember the Last Supper that Jesus shared with his friends, with the bread reminding us of his body and the wine reminding us of his blood, and which also offers a foretaste of the heavenly banquet that God invites us all too.  Just think - a limitless supply of all we need to nourish us, freely given - God's gracious provision.

I know it is possible to over romanticise our holidays but I was impressed by an obvious sense of general hospitality which existed
within many of the Turkish people we met and which still seems to be part of the culture.  Apple Tea is offered routinely in many establishments (without charge) just to be courteous and, one evening, with my son-in-law having bought some items from a souvenir type shop, the shopkeeper then gave us a Turkish Keyring each as a gift.  Just a small thing but how lovely.  I rather thought that this sort of thing would be exceedingly rare in England, but how wonderful just to welcome people and to be hospitable and generous.  We celebrated our son's birthday while we were in Turkey, and again I was struck by the fruit and wine that was sent to our room as it was a special day.


These were not the only examples we had of generous hospitality over the last week or so.  My wife Nicola and I were very impressed with the facilities at Gatwick Airport for Special Assistance.  We usually have to use a wheelchair in airports and have assistance to enter the aircraft because steps are difficult.  The facilities and organisation at Gatwick were superb.  And at the other end at Dalaman it was pretty good too.  People put themselves out to help in a whole variety of ways.




Enjoying swimming in the pool
Some of the food and drink
we were treated to
I think it would be really good to see generosity and hospitality developing more both in our lives as individuals and also in society.  I feel in this country we have become to individualistic, too liable to treat as a priority our own comforts rather than the comforts and wellbeing of others.  This is unlike our God who, entering into the world in Christ gave up the comforts of heaven to welcome us into the eternal love of God. Thanks for the 'ospitality Guv (or God in that case).  Perhaps we can reflect that same hospitality in our own lives.  And maybe we can reflect on whether we will receive God's generous, hospitable, invitation to enter into his Kingdom and his eternal love.

By the way anyone got any use for 4.5 Turkish Lira? :-)