Hospitality and The Kingdom of God: Our Invitation to Join the Work of Restoration

Shannon Frances Garvin, George Fox University


Hospitality engages a world imagined by God, taking on the heart of God, and choosing to live in ways responsive to the
active presence of God in the world. Hospitality, by nature, is subversive as it restores creation through seemingly minor
and simple actions which effect healing, health, and wholeness. Practitioners of hospitality take on the ministry of Christ
fashioning their lives and choices after his, attending to the needs of others, trusting in the abundance of God, and living
in rhythm with God’s work in the world. Hospitality engages the Table Ministry of Christ in the world inviting all who
would dine to come and partake of God’s lavish abundance. Hospitality sees the Kingdom of God as the Creator’s
restored gathering with humanity taking form around the Banquet Table as it is both present now and coming in the
future. Hospitality understands that the work of the Incarnation happened not so God could merely die, but that God
could walk and talk with humanity showing us how to live into the life God has for us and to invite us into that ministry of
restoration and co-creation. Hospitality, attentive to God, invites and welcomes all who would come and dine at the
Banquet Table co-creating the Kingdom of God as it pushes out into the liminal places of the world where strangers are
welcomed, guests become hosts, and the Body of Christ continues to incarnate the presence of God in this world. The
Banquet Table, the Kingdom of God, the Incarnation of God on earth together form the ministry of hospitality—an image
large enough for a wild, creative, and passionate God to love the whole of creation into healing, wholeness, and