Dining with the Divine
A knock at the door. A pitiful figure stands, wrapped in a tired cloth and trembling in the cold. At your welcoming hand the figure reclines at your table, where you both dine and subsequently share stories of times past. As the newly-befriended guest prepares to leave, the beggar’s cloth is cast aside and the splendor of unmistakable divinity fills the room. Your now newly-radiant guest praises your lavish hospitality, and assures you they will show favor to you in kind.
In Divine Visitations and Hospitality in Luke-Acts, Joshua Jipp contends for an essential role of hospitality in the Lucan writings. The vignette above is a brief attempt to illustrate the title of Jipp’s work. Throughout Luke and Acts divinely-endowed travelers go about from place to place—from some people they receive hospitality and in return the travelers dispense divine benefits, while others refuse to welcome them and receive judgment from the spurned guests.
In future posts I will reflect on the main contributions of this book (I won’t be critically reviewing it—that’s too far above my pay grade) and seek to make some constructive comments about biblical interpretation and imaginative Christian living. For now, I hope this introduction will help set out some mental furniture so that later concepts can sit comfortably. See you in a few weeks.