In a new book titled Next Door As It Is In Heaven, I write on the importance of understanding biblical hospitality in our pursuit of loving our neighbors. I like to use the adjective biblical to help differentiate this particular form of hospitality from what usually comes to mind. Most often we imagine that being hospitable revolves around entertaining; inviting family and friends into our homes for a meal or a night of fun and games.
Let’s be clear. There is certainly nothing wrong with sharing a meal with friends and family. However, this “entertaining” form of hospitality falls short of the depth and richness of the meaning of hospitality in Scripture. In the New Testament, the Greek word for “hospitality” is philoxenia, which is a combination of two words: phileo (love) and xenos (stranger). It literally means “love of stranger.” There are several implications to this definition.