Published on November 14, 2022 by Emily Andrews  

The attached collection of worship resources reminds us that hospitality is an integral part of Thanksgiving. Biblical hospitality goes far deeper than typical table small talk, “Good to see you! Can you pass the turkey and dressing?” At Thanksgiving, we remember that we are called to extend more than a friendly meal to both loved ones and strangers. Hospitality is messy because, in the kingdom, we’re called to entertain aliens and angels alike. Hebrews 13:1-2 encourages us:

"Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it."

Most gracious and welcoming God, the One who comes to us as a neighbor and a stranger, an immigrant, and a brother: You are a God of hospitality. No one measures up to your openhearted spirit. You warmly invite all to come to you, creating space for us in your home, at your table, and in your loving arms. You draw out our particular stories while revealing ways in which each one is knitted together in a community called to love, serve, and hope. Help us, God of love, when it is difficult to reflect your divine hospitality. Give us eyes to see new possibilities in difficult relationships. Make our hearts big enough to make room for someone else—especially the “someone” the world designates as stranger, as alien, as “not one of us,” and even as enemy. For we know that when we learn to make a way for all to be welcome—whoever they are, wherever they are, however they are—we catch a glimpse of your kingdom. For in welcoming angels and aliens alike, we meet you there, ever calling us into a life of transforming love. We pray in the name of your son, Jesus Christ, who, in the power of your Spirit, opened doors and broke barriers so that all may experience your grace. Thanks be to God! Amen.

Here are some materials to help you create space for reflecting on biblical hospitality in worship.

Happy Thanksgiving, friends.

Dr. Emily Snider Andrews
Executive Director, Center for Worship and the Arts, School of the Arts