Who Am I?

The Didache 29 – Be Hospitable, But Do Not Support Idleness

Posted: July 9th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Didache | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments »

This series is reflecting on the Didache if you want to read it separately.

But receive everyone who comes in the name of the Lord, and prove and know him afterward; for you shall have understanding right and left. If he who comes is a wayfarer, assist him as far as you are able; but he shall not remain with you more than two or three days, if need be. But if he wants to stay with you, and is an artisan, let him work and eat. But if he has no trade, according to your understanding, see to it that, as a Christian, he shall not live with you idle. But if he wills not to do, he is a Christ-monger. Watch that you keep away from such.

This is not speaking about support of a prophet or bishop, but rather about one who comes invoking the name of the Lord. Be hospitable, especially to the traveler. But don’t support idleness. Paul wrote similar warnings to the Thessalonians. If a person stays, they should work.

It strikes me that we’re pretty good today about justifying our refusal to help, for whatever reason. But we’re not very hospitable. We don’t assist the wayfarer as far as we are able. I’m not really any better than anyone else. True hospitality requires effort and risk. Our culture doesn’t really teach it. That probably means we need to practice harder.