Monday, January 29, 2007

Pantry Magic and Hospitality

Pantry Magic, Singapore
Chip Bee Gardens, Holland Village, for late night affrogatos and triple expressos and, maybe, a plate of profiteroles, we ambled round a corner and were promptly dazzled by that which replaced Sarah's Carpets, shining like a beacon of hope to the Singapore culinary scene (or at least the we-purchase-pretty-kitchen-stuff-and-use-them-only-once scene).

Some of us gasped and ran in.

Others of us said,"Meh" and resumed our quest.

Pantry Magic
43 Jalan Merah Saga
#01-80
Singapore 278115
Tel: 6471 0566

There is hardly a human being who doesn't take pleasure in the hospitality of others: a good home-cooked meal, a cushy sofa to crash on, cookies and milk for Santa and the reindeer... And God commands his people to be hospitable, but not because of some karmaic reflux or because do-gooders can somehow collect enough brownie points to enter heaven (for no one can ever be good enough for heaven, hence the need to Jesus to pay the price on our behalf).

Poor old Martha was hardly praised for pottering around her house, getting things ready for Jesus the VIP:
Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, "Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me." But the Lord answered her, "Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her." (Luke 10:38-42)
The way to be saved from God's judgement on our rebellion against him is not by sacrificial service of others but by listening and trusting the word of Jesus that his death will save us from the consequence of our sins.

God's command to his people to be hospitable is an after-event, a consequence of having already been saved as his people (Romans 12:13, 1 Timothy 3:1-3, 1 Timothy 5:3-10, 1 Peter 4:7-11).

Why show hospitality? And why receive hospitality? Jonathan Leeman sketches a biblical theology of hospitality in A Meal Says More Than You Think. Check out the articles at Monergism too.

(In view of the ongoing ASEAN Tourism Forum 2007, interesting secular views on hospitality from the Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Management and Hospitality: A Social Lens.)

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