Once upon a time there was an Apostle named Peter, and one day he wrote a letter addressed to the “pilgrims of the Dispersion”. There were a number of churches in this group, and he listed several cities where they were to be found. He wrote several pages of instructions, but toward the end he wrote these words: “And above all things have fervent love for one another, for ‘love will cover a multitude of sins’. Be hospitable one to another without grudging.” (1 Peter 4:8-9) And the reason he both encouraged love and hospitality and warned against grudging and murmuring is because there were some in those churches who talked an awful lot (and sometimes too much), and there were some who needed careful prodding to keep any kind of conversation alive: they never seemed to talk at all. Others were jolly and full of jokes and stories, they were always ready to laugh and giggle at the slightest hint of fun. Others were more serious, and it took more to coax laughter out of their lips. There were some men who were very concerned with manners and politeness and always tucked in their shirts and other men who were more concerned about the truth and came across sloppy sometimes and sometimes as brash. There were women who preferred to keep immaculate homes and minute-by-minute schedules, and there were other women who kept tidy homes but who preferred a more relaxed schedule and organized their days accordingly. There were some who shopped whole foods and never ate a processed grain in all their life, and there were others who ate fast food and white bread and never thought twice about it. There were some who home-schooled and still others that used private schools and tutorials. Some had their children born at home; others had their children at hospitals. There were some who were old and cranky and there were some who were young and foolish.
He who has ears to hear, let him hear: “And above all things have fervent love for one another, for ‘love will cover a multitude of sins’. Be hospitable one to another without grudging.” 1 Peter 4:8-9