Fostering and Stewardship

Last Monday, our first foster placement arrived in our home.  Let’s call him Jacob.  As the Hebrews writer would say, he’s a beautiful child.  He has makeup-model eyelashes, sparkling brown eyes, a ready smile, and an infectious laugh.  He also has the kind of problems that you would expect in a three-year-old who has ended up in foster care.  Not surprisingly, he’s been on my mind a great deal of late.

Indeed, he’s been on my mind enough that I’ve been reading the online chatter that comes my way through Jacob-tinted glasses.  Such was the case with the comment left on my post on FIRE from a couple of days ago.  The commenter noted, correctly, that FIRE easily can keep us from fulfilling our Biblical responsibilities to be good stewards. Continue reading

Hospitality and Overscheduling

The practice of hospitality is older than the Bible.  Certainly in Genesis 19 and probably in Genesis 18, we see righteous men offering food and lodging to strangers gratis (I say “probably” because I’m unsure whether Abraham is aware from the beginning that he’s talking to God).  Christians are instructed to be hospitable in multiple New-Testament passages.

However, in our own time, hospitality has largely fallen by the wayside.  Most Christians will no longer invite unfamiliar people into their own homes (and the Greek word for hospitality, xenophilia, literally means “love of strangers”); many Christians won’t even invite their friends.  This is a problem.  It’s good for us to follow the pattern of the first-century church, but we ought to pay equal attention to imitating the example of first-century Christians. Continue reading