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ow do we do this again? The  serving again. And as before, it was Mary
               pandemic made us a bit rusty  whose behavior received acclaim. A guest
        Hin several areas. Having people  should be welcomed with foot-washing.
        into our homes is one of them. For some,  Mary made Jesus’ reception special by
        entertaining was a regular activity before  washing His feet with the outrageously
        life was interrupted by mandates, masks,  expensive ointment she had reserved
        and staying at least six feet apart. With  specifically for Him. The Lord approved:
        these regulations now largely in the rear-  “Wherever this gospel is proclaimed in the
        view mirror, how do we get back to what  whole world, what she has done will also
        we were doing before? And can we do it  be told in memory of her” (Mat 26:13). It
        more effectively, more enthusiastically, and  was the reception, not the menu, that made the
        maybe even more evangelistically?    headlines. We know nothing about what was
          These questions and more will find help-  included in the evening’s cuisine. And the
        ful answers from our contributors in this  house didn’t smell of Simon’s supper but
        special edition of Truth & Tidings devoted  of Mary’s sacrifice. How important it is
        to the subject of hospitality.       to be attentive to the needs of our guests.
          Some observations from two homes in  Although we may not be able to provide
        Bethany, at which our Lord was a guest,  a five-star feast, our sacrificial acts to meet
        may prove useful as we begin this study  others’ needs could make headlines where
        together.                            it matters most.
          During Jesus’ visit to Martha’s home  in   As we survey the guests at the dinner in
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        Luke 10:38-42, the main course was discourse.  John 12, note that the table was a testimony
        Mary was commended by Jesus for hav-  of changed lives. Simon the Leper was there,
        ing sat at His feet, listening to what He   but he wasn’t a leper anymore. He met
        said. We don’t need to go overboard with   Jesus and his life was changed. His miracu-
        multiple main dishes and endless casse-  lous story is one of those included in John
        roles as Martha seemed to do. She ended   21:25: “There are many other things that
        up “distracted with all the preparations”   Jesus did.” Lazarus was also sitting with
        (v40)  and missed out on conversation with   them (12:2). Not so long before, he was in a
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        her guest. Let’s not repeat her mistake with   tomb; now he is at a table. He experienced
        those we invite into our homes.      the life-giving power of the Lord Jesus
          Another home in Bethany belonged to   Christ. Like Lazarus, we were once dead;
        Simon,  where the Lord was invited for a   like Simon, we were unclean. But we can
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        meal (recorded in John 12) at which Martha   testify of the change Christ has made in us
        and, doubtless, Mary were among those   to those who may sit at our tables.
        ¹ Presumably also the home of Lazarus and Mary.  So make those calls, pull up the chairs
        ² All Scripture quotations in this article are from
        the NET.                             and set the table again. And oh, by the way,
        ³ Compare Mat 26:6-13; Mar 14:3-9; Joh 12:1ff.  even paper plates are permitted.

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