Once a week, these professors met with others to travel to a rundown, inner city neighborhood. They met in an empty church sanctuary before going out to talk with neighbors, bring them baked goods, offer to fix broken windows or screen doors, or invite them to a common meal in the church basement. Something about this way of following Jesus caught our hearts. People were breaking through walls built on ethnicity, social class, income, and religious tradition.
Cindy and I had already discovered the value of community in a small group that met in our simple, newlywed apartment. Hospitality, however, means not just welcoming friends; it means throwing open your doors and your hearts to strangers, to people who are different from you.