I am starting to learn Greek. So far it is just the alphabet – pretty fun! There is a group of about 7 crazy people who assemble at 7 in the morning on Tuesdays and Thursdays to learn a dead language. Only two meetings so far, and I have already learned a couple of interesting facts – for example that Greek originally had no punctuation or quotation marks, so there is often no way to tell where one person starts talking and the other stops, or if something is a question, statement, or command… so even where sentences start or end is sort of interpretation at times!
And that the word for hospitality is “xenophilia” – love of strangers, literally those who come from outside your borders. So having your church ladies over for a tea party, with crisp linen, flowers, and finger sandwiches, would not technically qualify as hospitality. (Though it would still be fun – I love tea with friends, so sue me 😉
But true hospitality would be loving those outside our culture. Would outside our church culture qualify? We do have people over that are not part of church culture for dinner on a fairly regular basis. They are still part of our culture-at-large (though some are from other countries), but they aren’t part of that circle that I am most often immersed in. The way they view life and death is quite different from mine. They may not have an interest in church, but they will come for dinner.
Somehow the word Xenos makes me want to see My Big Fat Greek Weddingagain.