Welcoming the stranger with Christ

Reflections by Paul Cooke, France Mission’s Director

Our world is marked by greater migration and diversity than ever before. This reality is often presented as a problem or a threat but, from a Christian perspective, it surely provides an opportunity.

Vincent Morvan,who played a significant role in developing the work of Un Coeur pour le monde (as featured in the previous issue of FM Perspectives), has recently published a book to help believers engage with this issue. And we could probably all do with some help! As Vincent himself writes in his introduction: “Hospitality is one of the Bible’s great themes […]. Yet, as a Christian, it took me a long time to understand the richness of the spiritual significance of hospitality when understood and practised with Christ.”

Vincent’s book explores the theme of Christian hospitality through the four lenses of theology, ethics,spirituality, and missiology. If these terms sound abstract, Vincent invites us to consider the analogy of a car in which the engine equates to theology, the steering wheel to ethics, the fuel to spirituality, and the wheels to missiology.

When driving a car, we soon notice its blind spots; in a similar way, all of us – whether as individual believers or as churches – have blind spots when it comes to putting biblical hospitality into practice. This book aims to help us see more clearly,practising hospitality with Christ, welcoming His presence as we welcome strangers into our midst.

I haven’t yet had the chance to read this book in full but,to quote a FM supporter who has done so: “this is a superb book: a deep theological, biblical study of hospitality and the Gospel to train us in serving through welcoming foreigners into our churches.” You can read a sample of the book (and buy it if you want more) at bit.ly/2kcfCot. I very much hope that an English translation will be made available at some point but, if you can read French, why not enjoy the original now?


Paul Cooke

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