LET ALL GUESTS who arrive be received like Christ, for he is going to say, "I came as a guest, and you received me."
Rule of St. Benedict
A STORY said to originate in a Russian Orthodox monastery has an older monk telling a younger one: "I have finally learned to accept people as they are. Whatever they are in the world, a prostitute, a prime minister, it is all the same to me. But sometimes I see a stranger coming up the road, and I say, 'Oh, Jesus Christ, is it you again?'"
Kathleen Norris, Dakota
FOR THE LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who
defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the alien, giving him food and clothing.
BE KIND, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.
Philo of Alexandria, quoted in Dan Wakefield, How Do We Know When It's God?
TO OPEN UP and become sensitive to God's own mission could also mean that we begin to recognize the strangers as messengers, sent to us with a particular message, and that, therefore, before we dare preach to them we ought to listen to their stories.
Gerhard Hoffmanin inInternational Review of Mission
I BELIEVE we are still here to help men and women to learn to live as each other's guests. We are guests of this life. We are guests of this planet, and we are almost destroying it.
People should learn a new language, a new way of life, learn to be guests and let others be their guest.
George Steiner, literary critic, quoted in personal correspondence by humanitarian-aid executive Tom Getman
THE SCOPE of who it is that God means to invite to the feast, you see, is not ours to define. We are not put in charge of the guest list.
Don C. Skinner, A Passage through Sacred History
IN AN ERA when many of us feel that time is our scarcest resource, hospitality falters.
"In a fast-food culture," a wise Benedictine monk observes, "you have to remind yourself that some things cannot be done quickly. Hospitality takes time."
Dorothy C. Bass, Receiving the Day
THAT IS our vocation: to convert
the enemy into a guest and to create the free and fearless space where brotherhood and sisterhood can be formed and fully experienced.
Henri J. M. Nouwen, Reaching Out: The Three Movements of the Spiritual Life
YOUR WHOLE LIFE through you
seek the face you've lost in strangers' faces.
Frederick Buechner, Godric
Copyright © 2005 Christianity Today. Click for reprint information.
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