“Be ready,” said Jesus, “for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.” We want to be faithful, but we are tempted to ask, “Who can live in such a constant state of readiness?” The short answer is, anyone who has made time and space available to welcome the Kingdom of God. Whoever is able to live in a posture of hospitality is already prepared for the coming of Christ.
The foundation of Christian hospitality is the ability to be present for someone, to make our whole selves available to another. We practice seeing the world from “their” point of view. Their needs become our needs. Their hopes are as important as our own. Their words are able to move us, and their ideas bring value to our lives. To see the “other” made well and whole brings the deepest kind of joy to us, and fulfills the kingdom of God.
This is not to say Christ would have us become mindlessly servile, mere doormats available for whomever we meet to tread upon. Serving others in the name of Christ is a choice we make, a mindful decision to engage, know, and serve the “other” with all our heart, mind soul and strength. We make a gift of ourselves to another—whether they be friend or enemy—and commit to serving them as if we are serving Christ himself. And then suddenly, quite unexpectedly, we discover that in serving we are serving Christ, and the Kingdom of God has appeared.