The Gospel Comes with a House Key by Rosaria Champagne Butterfield
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Sanctification is work, not an act. We grow in sanctification over a lifetime in union with Christ, of denying ourselves, of taking up the cross, of following Christ. We grow in knowledge of God when we read our bible in the way God intends – as an inerrant, inspired, authoritative, unified revelation. Image-bearing the knowledge of God means that we lean into the cross and not ourselves. There is always a battle between cross carrying and doing what feels best to us. Hospitality is a sanctification at work.
Rosairia Butterfield and her family practice radical hospitality. They budget for it, they plan for it, and they are intentional about it. It is a way of practicing and displaying the gospel. I would not call this text a resource, I think it way more than that but a testimony of the power of God and blessing of hospitality. Hospitality is not easy and many times it is messy. Butterfield centers her family practice in the friendship of a neighbor that was later busted for meth lab. Her neighbor kept to himself and way from the Butterfield, however, they developed a friendship in spite of that. They found common ground in a dog. There was no bible pounding but an invitation. There was no condemnation but there was compassion. How many times when we watch the news and we think or say out loud, they deserve to go to jail and to throw away the key. The Butterfield believe everyone should know the gospel – the Good news of Christ.
There were two chapters that impacted me in this much needed study of hospitality. One was on the care of her mother as she was in hospice. Her mother a proud atheist and a strong feminist always thought of Rosaria of being weak. It is those very words that her mother begin to receive Christ. In our weakness, (in death, sin, our depression)we can lean into Christ for his strength. Dying she realized her weakness. It was there all along but death has a way of confronting you with that weakness. This chapter had me in tears. It was tender and honest and I appreciated Rosaria sharing it with her readers. Rosaria also shared about her past. Growing up in her family, her life in LBQT and the impact LBQT has on hospitality. It can put many Christians to shame.
The other chapter was on Judas. There is a Judas hidden among us and could be us. Judas is only found in the church. An environment that is ripe for Judas is consumerism. Judas thought himself to more merciful than God. That Christ had failed him. “He missed the core lesson, a heart broken by Jesus asks the Lord to make him godly, not bless his natural desires. A heart broken by Jesus prays, Lord make me yours, not Lord, give me what I want.”
There are many things that keep us from hospitality. Fear and to keep the status quo. Butterfield expresses the dynamic of family. The gender roles and how they maintain a healthy environment for hospitality. I think it is important that before hospitality can be expressed outside the home, we must be practicing inside the home. Hospitality is a family effort and will not work if the family is not on the same page. Hospitality is a mission that we all can do. If you are in family that would not practice this, you can practice hospitality in other ways. Butterfield does stress a counterfeit hospitality vs a Godly hospitality.
I highly recommend all Christians read this because hospitality is the gospel. We see people as made in the image of God practicing hospitality. We do not think better of ourselves practicing hospitality, and we pursue the heart of God in hospitality. A nearness of God.
A Special Thank You to Crossway Publishing and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.
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