You are what you eat. We may have heard that saying before but for Israel, it goes to a whole new level. God gave them many rules about what to eat (and what not to). This was not for health but for holiness. In the New Testament, those food laws are not for Christians for another reason – for hospitality. And it is in the Gospel that we see Holiness and Hospitality brought perfectly together.  A sermon by Steve Swan from the 1st of May, 2016.

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We shall not benefit from reading the Old Testament unless we look for and meditate on the glory of Christ in its pages.

John Owen (1616 – 1683)

 

Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are.

Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (1755-1826)

 

Holiness is exemplified by completeness. Holiness requires that individuals shall conform to the class to which they belong. And holiness requires that different classes of things shall not be confused.

…dietary laws would have been like signs which at every turn inspired meditation on the oneness, purity, and completeness of God. By rules of avoidance, holiness was given a physical expression in every encounter with the animal kingdom and at every meal.

Mary Douglas (1921-2007), Purity and Danger

 

No matter how tough it is sometimes to obey God’s call to be hospitable, God is no one’s debtor. He opens, and will open forever, the windows of heaven to pour out His blessing on any attempt of ours to be faithful to His calling. Is it easy to do this? Is it always comfortable? No, no, and no! God, however, always gives His help to those who ask Him to come to their aid when they find it hard to follow His calling. He promises to welcome us into His eternal dwelling. He is going to be hospitable to us forever. We are called to imitate Him for this short time that we are here in this world of broken and needy people.

Jerram Barrs, The Heart of Evangelism

 

As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

The Apostle Peter (1st Peter 1:14-16)