Monday, December 9, 2013

Lessons From the Desert: Bedouin (Desert) Hospitality

This month at Pasture Living, I'm sharing what I learned during my Israel trip and why I think this series is very relevant to healthy living. I believe being physically healthy is important, but being mentally, psychologically, and spiritually healthy is also extremely important for a fulfilling and joyful life. If you missed any of this series, click here.

Advent Day 9

In a bedouin tent

Passage: Genesis 18

We visited a bedouin house (people who live the desert) to learn about desert hospitality. When we entered their tent (house), they served us sweet tea, coffee, and snacks. We learned that a house is divided into two areas: one for the family and one specially for guests. Anyone is welcomed to stay at a bedouin house for up to three days without being questioned who they are and why they are there. They will serve their guests and provide meals for them as well. In Genesis 18, Abraham saw three men standing nearby while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent. He hurried to meet them, offered water to be brought to them to wash their feet and rest, offered them something to eat so that they can be refreshed before they continue on their journey. He hurried into his tent to tell his wife Sarah to get the finest flour and bake bread. He selected a choice, tender calf and prepared a meal, and brought curds and milk to his guests. This is what desert hospitality is like. Welcoming strangers with open hands and giving the best we have for them right away, without questions, without prejudice. What a lesson we can all learn from. To love our neighbors as ourselves, just as how God has commanded us to do.

I learn that fellowship over meals is one of the most powerful way to build relationships and is something that I need to work on. Opening our house, inviting people over, spending time with friends, even for a simple afternoon tea, may lighten someone's day. Jesus ate with the tax collectors and the fishermen, and we're called to fellowship with other people too.

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