Christmas is a wonderful time to spend with family and friends. Whether we gather with a small group of two or three or a large group, we have an opportunity to have a party. Many people hear the word party and think “oh no, not me. That is so much work.” But it doesn’t have to be a lot of work. You can prepare as little or as much as is comfortable for you.
Jesus set a great example as a partier. He often ate with people and enjoyed their company. He developed relationships with the purpose of sharing His love and message of salvation. His focus needs to be our aim as we look at entertaining. Jesus set a great precedent when He told Zaccheus, “Come down, for I am going to your house today.” He reminded us that we do not always have to do the cooking and cleaning. Your best party may be a group of four that goes out to eat or takes time for a cup of coffee while going to see Christmas lights. You may want to drop by a friend’s house with a plate of warm cookies and tell her that you were thinking of her. For those who enjoy practicing hospitality in their home, there are many ways this can be done.
Do not allow house work to keep you from enjoying those God brings to your home. I would remind you of Mary and Martha. Make as many preparations before hand as possible, but once your friends arrive make them the focus. Clean the room you will sit in, one bathroom, and clear and wipe down kitchen counters. The rest of the house is optional. My mom laughingly says to close the doors to other rooms and hang a purse on the door. That usually keeps most folks out. A clean counter-top gives the impression that everything else is clean, so in bathrooms and kitchens this is helpful. Most people are not as concerned about what you prepare to eat. They are just honored to be a guest. My grandmother entertained with Cheetos and cokes. Everyone loved coming to her house, not for the food, but for the fellowship.
As you open your heart and your home this Christmas season, I encourage you to see this as your gift to God. It is a part of your act of worship as you serve others. Romans 12:9-13 reminds us to love sincerely, to stay fervent in our faith, to help those in need, and to practice hospitality.
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. ~Romans 12:9-13