Hospitality and the Church

We can call the virtue of hospitality in the Church either radical hospitality or faithful hospitality. I use “radical” here not to evoke some wild, anarchist kind of hospitality, but that is the root (radix) of what we do. Hospitality is “faithful” because we do it under command.

God gave us hospitality in Eden. The first created humans lived entirely in God’s hospitality. All was love and generosity, care and nurturing. The earth itself was hospitable, sheltering, warm and nourishing. Why did Adam and Eve ever envy God? They had all that he had. But envy was their sin – they desired to be as God, thinking that it would somehow be better than what they had. (Obviously, Satan has already fallen- literally – into the sin of pride. Pride and envy are closely related.)

Is lack of hospitality a sin of envy and pride? We call it selfishness, but isn’t that a kind of pride? “I deserve to have this for myself, and not share it with someone of lesser value.”

Is there more to the myth of Eden than we think?


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