Jul 15, 2015

Social Holiness

He was exceptionally gregarious and she had a heart for serving others. Together our parents modeled an active life of community service and hospitality. We knew the inside of most of the churches in town, not just our own. I can not count the number of church potlucks that Dad supported via the purchase of tickets to feed his family eight. One congregation hosted a Spaghetti Dinner, we were there. Another denomination hosted an annual Smorgasbord every spring, we were there. Pancake Breakfast at the largest church in town started way too early on a Saturday morning, but even Dad’s teenagers were strongly encouraged to join him. The little rural church in the country had a potluck lunch and a quilt raffle, my Dad bought tickets even when half his kids were away at college. 

“How many memories do you have of great conversations shared over a good meal? …something special happens when we break bread and share drinks with one another. It is a holy time.”

In the 70’s, Meals on Wheels was one of our mother’s chosen forms of outreach. Here she had six near adult kids at home that she was preparing meals for every evening and still, she loaded up lunches in the back the station wagon and drove around town for several hours delivering lunch along with a few moments of neighborly conversation, to the elderly folks in our community. At times the younger siblings accompanied her. They remember the people, the gratitude, and our mother’s gift of friendship.

Methodist founder John Wesley called this 
active engagement of humanity “social holiness”.

We practice Christian hospitality even in the smallest places of our daily life: when we offer a  smile and whisper support to the mother struggling with her teenager in a restaurant, when we email a note to a woman who was absent from the week’s Bible Study class, when we suggest a lunch date to a person who we know is struggling, when we greet walkers on the path, regardless of race or class; any time we support, serve, and extend grace.

Social holiness requires intention and hospitality.
Someone you know would love to join you for lunch.

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  1. Lisa, Oh, that sounds like my house...and I feel like your friend already. Hospitality opens doors of communication, companionship and community. Thank you for opening your door to me.

    I'm your neighbor at Holley Gerth's today.

    May I invite you to share your words each Friday at #DanceWithJesus Linkup? is where I blog. Your words would bless others there.

    Warmly, Susan

    1. Kind of you to visit here. I enjoyed taking a look at your .com site. Thank you for the invitation.

  2. Meals are a blessed way of fellowship. I am reminded of the meals Jesus shared with his disciples, with Zaccheus, Mary, Martha and even the multitude. Your post is a great reminder for engaging others with hospitality. I'm visiting from the Weekend Brew.

    1. Yes His hospitality was and is the model for our lives today. He fed many, and offered His gifts to the homeless, diseased, and the shunned. Christ's "social holiness" exceeds all boundaries.

  3. What a wonderful reminder that holiness has legs and hands. I love the fact that your sweet mom and dad included you kids in their service. I've loved sharing food with other people for as long as I can remember and with that comes wonderful memories of the good times we spent with others. Thanks for sharing. Visiting fro Still Saturdays.

    1. So kind of you to share these generous words. Certainly their example lingers lovingly in my memories. Taking "church" into the community simply followed the WAY of Christ.

  4. So true about meals and togetherness. Always love opening my table to others. Thanks for sharing. Your parents sound wonderful.