It’s interesting to me that one of the things they pick up on is the practice of hospitality, something that’s recently caught my attention because I was asked to preach about it!
One of the interesting questions then is to ask ourselves what would a contrast society or community look like in my neighbourhood. Before Christmas, sometime in October now I think about it, we did a little experiment in hospitality. We invited our neighbours three either side and five or six opposite to come and meet us. We’d only been in the house for a month or so, and just wanted to get to know them.
Some came, more didn’t. Why was that? Maybe they thought we were the religious nuts that had just moved in and it wasn’t worth the risk of not being able to escape. Maybe they were actually as busy as they said they were. Bt at least we asked, and we will ask again. This is part of being a contrast society in our neck of the woods.
The more I think about being a contrast society, the more it seems to call me to live faith out in full view of others. Not preaching at every opportunity, but of sharing a different life, shaped by a different story, the story of God’s redemptive plan at work in my life.
In the warmer weather I hope we can begin to extend our hospitality through being outside more often than we’re inside. Spending time in the park simply doing life with others, playing games, sharing picnics, hearing stories.
There’s bound to be more to being a contrast society than this, but at least it’s a place to start.