This week I wrote a post over at BigBible about Community. As I was trying to think of a suitable image to include, I drifted through the book of Ruth (we’re going through a book of the Bible each month on the site, and Ruth is August!) considering what might fit the bill. And all I could really come up with was crops. So that’s what I went for.
It was only when I came to writing the caption that I began to consider things in a bit more depth. Here’s what I wrote under the picture of barley:
Elimelek’s reason for leaving the community was to seek nourishment; Ruth’s means of re-entry was seeking nourishment
And that really got me thinking. I’m a big fan of hospitality. In fact, there’s a post about it in the pipeline 😉 But it made me think about our church communities and whether we offer people the nourishment they need. Now, I’m slipping here between physical and spiritual nourishment, but I think that the two can go hand in hand sometimes. Do our churches provide people with the nourishment they need to stay. And do we offer to outsiders the nourishment they need to join? I think there’s a lot of spiritual hunger around, and I wonder if we’re particularly good at addressing it.
So, a couple of questions for you:
Is there anything your church does particularly well in terms of offering hospitality and nourishment (physical or spiritual)? (any models your church uses – feel free to send links!)
Is there anything in particular you think your church could do to get better in this area?