ETHIC OF HOSPITALITY

ETHIC OF HOSPITALITY : Does Christianity have a vision of economic life different from the predatory nature of the present system? Does this vision offer a direction in tiring times, a practical path to a better world? Is there a stark contrast between the economic practices of the wider world and the principles of economy embedded in the way the Christian story is told? Or is Christianity primarily concerned with personal morals and not directly connected to the structures and organization of economic life? Do you have the power to change your “personal” economic decisions? Do you—and those who share your social location—have the power to change U.S. economic policies–––In what ways and how do you contribute to the many disadvantages of those without privilege? If those who are rich—in relative terms—don’t take ownership for lifting people out of poverty, who is responsible? Is taking responsibility for protecting people without resources from our unfettered free market capitalism system an act of hospitality? When we have many more resources than our “guests/strangers” and provide resources to them do models of dependence and domination result? Are the personal, small-scale places of welcome you offer as crucial as more institutionalized expressions of care? Are you willing to make a place for neighbors/strangers who are recovering from surgery, who are international students, who may be a troubled roommate, who are refugees, who are undocumented immigrants, who challenge your sense of security and safety? Hospitality frequently arrives as “interruptions” in our task- focused lives—it is countercultural and requires a rethinking of priorities. Are you willing to invest the time and strength required to change or rearrange your priorities? How then, would you describe what an ethic of hospitality looks like to you?
How do you understand the Eucharist[communion]? How do you think the Eucharist can be a practice of hospitality? If sharing in the Eucharist invites and empowers Christians to extend the hospitality of God to others—how does this change the way in which you participate in the Eucharist? Who is invited to share the Eucharist with you, people who are from your social location and/or people who are in social locations with little to no resources, privileged or power? What would the Eucharist look like if it was shared with people of all social locations together in one community?

How would you describe the McDonaldization of hospitality? How does it inhibit the faithful practice of Christian hospitality? How is nurturing the essential humanity of our economy a prerequisite for practicing Christian hospitality? Will you participate—with your community— in the effort to break down the boundaries between private and public space so the hospitality you offer creates places where relationships among strangers is possible?

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