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Summary: The Bible commands us to be Hospitable Just as God has been hospitable to us.

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Lighthouses of Prayer: Hospitality February 3, 2008

1 Peter 4:7-11

Review of Lighthouses of Prayer

On the first Sunday of the year, I introduced the idea of lighthouses of prayer. It comes from Luke chapter 10 where Jesus sends out the 72 Disciples to go into the villages around the country.

This is his commission: "When you enter a house, first say, ’Peace to this house.’ If the head of the house loves peace, your peace will rest on that house; if not, it will return to you. Stay there, eating and drinking whatever they give you, … Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ’The kingdom of God has come near to you.’

From this passage we receive a way to impact our neighbours for Jesus:

The Luke 10:1-9 The Model

5-6 - Bless Your Neighbours

“When you enter a house, first say, ’Peace to this house.”

Now we have taken this model and organized it so that it is something that you can do as part of your daily routine: we’ve suggested that you take the five houses on either side of you, and the 11 across the street and begin to pray blessing on each of them.

You can do this by walking up and down your street and blessing each house Or you can make blessing your neighbours part of your daily devotions, you could bless a neighbour as you bless your food…

7-8 Develop relationships with your neighbours.

“Stay there, eating and drinking whatever they give you”

9a - Pray for their needs

“Heal the sick who are there”

9b - Share the Gospel

“…and tell them, ’The kingdom of God has come near to you.”

From the first week’s sermon “Start off this new year with a focus on the people around us”

This is not just Ed Silvoso’s take on this passage, or a “new” evangelism strategy. I’ve been reading a book called “The Celtic Way of Evangelism” and Saint Patrick evangelized all of Ireland using the same method.

“Patrick’s entourage would have included a dozen or so people, including priests, seminarians, and two or three women. Upon arrival at a tribal settlement, Patrick would engage the king and other opinion leaders, hoping for conversion, or at least their clearance, to camp near the people and form into a community of faith adjacent to the tribal settlement. The “apostolic” team would meet the people, engage them in conversation and in ministry, and look for people who appeared receptive. They would pray for sick people, and for possessed people, and they would counsel people and mediate conflicts. On at least one occasion, Patrick blessed a river and prayed for the people to catch more fish. They would engage in some open-air speaking, probably employing parable, story, poetry, song, visual symbols, visual arts and, perhaps, drama to engage the Celtic people’s remarkable imaginations. Often, we think, Patrick would receive the people’s questions and then speak to those questions collectively.

The Apostolic band would welcome responsive people into their group fellowship to worship with them, pray with them, minister to them, converse with them, and break bread together. One band member or another would probably join with each responsive person to reach out to relatives and friends. The mission team typically spent weeks, or even months, as a ministering community of faith within the tribe. The church that emerged within the tribe would have been astonishingly indigenous.”

I began this series with an overview of these 4 points, and I’ve preached two sermons on the idea of blessing your neighbours and the people in your networks – and in this blessing, taking responsibility for the welfare of our neighbours – see ourselves as shepherds, being called to have the character of the father in the story of the Prodigal son.

Today, I want to talk about building relationships with our neighbours. I want to do that by talking about the call to practice hospitality.

Luke 7:36-50 – When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.

When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, "If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner."…

… Then Jesus said to Simon, "Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet.

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