Hospitality once was central to Christians' life together. But today we have tamed, Disneyfied, and Martha Stewartized this radical practice of graciously welcoming one another, especially the stranger, as God has welcomed us. Is genuine hospitality a lost art? Recovering this ancient tradition will be essential in a world that has grown terrifyingly defensive and harsh.

Worship trains us in "untamed hospitality," Elizabeth Newman notes, as we learn our dual roles as a guest in God's Kingdom and host to one another and God. Andrew Arterbury mines the rich biblical resources of Luke's writings on intercultural hospitality.

Critiquing the development of impersonal institutions for hospitality over the centuries, Christine Pohl explores how Christians can once again connect "the life-giving bonds of congregational life" with "the personal warmth of household- based care." Paul Wadell calls congregations to move beyond "safe neighbor love" to risking "the dangerous love" of Christian hospitality.

The study guides and lesson plans integrate Bible study, prayer, and worship to help us explore our dual roles as a guest in God's Kingdom and therefore as gracious host to one another. The guides can be used in a series or individually. You may download and reproduce them for personal or group use.

Download the entire Hospitality issue and the set of six Study Guides. Or, download individual pieces by clicking the titles below.




  • Revelers, by Heidi J. Hornik, on Paolo Veroneses Feast in the House of Levi
  • Host and Guest, by Heidi J. Hornik and Mikeal C. Parsons, on Alessandro Alloris Christ in the House of Mary and Martha
  • Protecting the Innocents, by Heidi J. Hornik, on the Ospedale degli Innocenti

Hymn and Worship Service

Inspirational Pieces

Book Review

  • A Tradition of Hospitality, by Scott H. Moore
    • Christine Pohl, Making Room: Recovering Hospitality as a Christian Tradition
    • Amy G. Oden, And You Welcomed Me: A Sourcebook on Hospitality in Early Christianity
    • Elizabeth Newman, Untamed Hospitality: Welcoming God and Other Strangers

Study Guides and Lesson Plans(Download the set of six Study Guides)

Further Reading