Social Justice and Hospitality

Reflection: Fight for social justice by taking a spirit of hospitality with you, wherever you go.

By Elise Pino


When I think of hospitality, I think of hosting a fancy dinner party for my friends, or letting my cousin stay with me when she’s in town. But in the Bible, hospitality is often in reference to strangers, and it’s about much more than hosting dinner parties.

Matthew 25:35-37 says,

For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.

Biblical hospitality is about giving someone what they need, not just physically, but also relationally. Hospitality is not just offering a home-cooked meal to a friend; it’s offering our friendship to a stranger. It’s not just inviting a stranger into our home, but into our lives. It’s about social justice.

Jesus is the ultimate example of hospitality. He made himself vulnerable to invite us in, freeing us to be vulnerable with others. To truly be hospitable means to offer ourselves—our friendship, our time, our gifts, and our resources—and to risk getting hurt in the process.

You don’t have to fly to Africa to fight for social justice. You can do it right now in your office, on your campus, and at home. Fighting for social justice can be as simple as bringing a spirit of hospitality with you, wherever you go.

Form relationships with people who are different from you, the “new kid”, or the outsider. When we bring those on the margins into community, they are known and their needs are known. Hospitality is making sure no one’s needs—spiritually, relationally, or physically—are left unmet.

Try this:

  • The next time someone pops in your head—whether it’s a friend, a coworker, a roommate, an acquaintance, or even someone you hardly know—consider that maybe God is asking you to pray for that person, send them a text to see how their day is going, ask them to lunch, give them a hug, or offer them a ride somewhere.
  • Fighting for social justice can be as modest as spending time with someone you wouldn’t normally spend time with; someone different than you, someone who is disconnected from community, or someone who is suffering. Ask them about their life and who they are. Learn about their needs and serve them.
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