Theme: “From Hostility to Hospitality”
As an initiative to share insights and interpretations of the Bible with the Church, Gurukul has been contributing daily devotions that would nurture the faith and commitment to both the clergy and laity alike. The Gurukul faculty recommended the theme for Gurukul Daily Devotion 2014 as – “From Hostility to Hospitality.” This theme has been envisioned from the perspective of Indian pluralistic context. All the biblical references within the devotions are from the New Revised Standard Version.
Being hospitable is to receive and show hospitality not only towards family members, friends or acquaintances but also towards strangers. To welcome the stranger inevitably involves us in a sympathetic passing over into the other’s life and stories and a coming back into our own life and stories enriched with new insight. To see life through a story which requires us to welcome the stranger is to be forced to recognise the dignity of the stranger who does not share our story.
The scripture often pictures God as being hospitable. Psalm 39:12 is basic to the acknowledgment that Israel began as a stranger, a foreigner. It was God’s land that became the gift to Israel, which meant that God was hospitable in sharing a place.
As individuals, religious bodies and other institutions practice and reflect on hospitality in both the most intimate and the most public zones of life in society, they can help that hope be realized: a marvel, in a time of destruction. Further, in a world where strangers meet strangers with gun fire, barrier walls, spiritually land mined paths, the spirit of revenge, and the record of intransigence, it sounds almost dainty to come on the scene and urge that hospitality has a strong and promising place. Hospitality permits – indeed, it insists on -regarding the other as being really different. The bible notifies to “extend hospitality to strangers” (Rom.12:13) and to “be hospitable to one another without complaining” (1Pe. 4:9).