A Lesson in Hospitality

READ A BOOK
This fun picture book in rhyme shows us hospitality in action, a theme repeated in many Bible stories. A friendly witch and her cute cat are out for a ride when a gusty wind causes them to drop item after item. Does she have room on her broom to include all the animals who help retrieve her belongings? The witch’s generosity seems to cause her undoing. But a daring rescue from a hungry dragon proves the friendship of her broom friends, and the value of hospitality.

     Donaldson, Julia, and Axel Scheffler. Room on the Broom. Puffin Books, 2007.

You can find this book at your local library, independent book seller, OR purchase it from….

 

MAKE A FAITH CONNECTION

  1. The witch and her cat are very generous. They let other animals join them on the witch’s broom.
    • Why does the witch keep losing things?
    • Who finds her hat and becomes the first guest on her broom?
    • Who finds her bow and also gets to ride on the broom?
    • Who finds her wand and is the third extra rider on the broom?
    • Why do you think the witch let all these animals come for a ride on her broom?
  1. God wants us to help others and to share what we have with others. When you share your home and your things with others it is called hospitality. Many people in the Bible show hospitality. Good things always happen to them when they do. It is one way God teaches us to be kind and open to friendship with new people.
    • But something not-so-good happens to the witch and her new friends. What happens?
    • After the broom breaks, what scary thing happens to the witch?
    • Who comes to her rescue? How do they help her?
  1. The witch is so thankful to her new friends.
    • What does she make for all of them?
  1. A verse in the Bible says, “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it” (Hebrews 13:2).
    • What do you think that verse means? (In short, it means that we should welcome newcomers and share what we have with them. For who knows, we could be helping someone sent by God.)
    • Have you ever had a new child join your class or group? How can you show hospitality to someone new?
    • Is there someone in your class or group who needs a friend? How can you show hospitality to him or her?

HAVE SOME FUN

Entertain Guests
Plan a playdate or invite another family to dinner with the specific goal of practicing hospitality.

Playdate: Have your child(ren) invite one friend and one new friend over for a play date. The goal of hospitality is make both children feel warmly welcomed. Your child(ren) should keep in mind the…

Hospitality Basics:

  • Goal of hospitality — to make your guests feel welcome and “at home”.
  • You are the host – you share your space and stuff with your guests.
  • As the host it is your responsibility to see that your guests get
    • to choose the activities and toys played with.
    • the first turn.
    • the first choice of supplies, food, and other things you will have.

Family dinner: Invite another family with children over for dinner. Remember that this is not about hosting anything fancy or extravagant. Having take-out pizza or Chinese is just fine. In fact, the simpler the better. As hosts, your children should help with preparation for guests including any house cleaning and food preparation, such as mashing the potatoes. They can set the table and/or make place cards for everyone. Again, children should be asked to keep in mind the Hospitality Basics (above).

Another option for practicing hospitality – Plan An All Saint’s Day Party.  Check out the link below for ideas:

https://www.catholicicing.com/all-saints-day-party-ideas-for-kids/

SHARE A PRAYER
Dear Lord,
People need to be with other people.
That’s the way you made us.
Thank you for the gift of my family.
Thank you for the gift of friends.
And thank you for the gift of people
I do not yet know.
Help me to be kind to new people.
Help me to welcome them.
May they know I am glad they are here.
Help me to share
the things I have
with others.
Help me to be generous.
In the Bible, Abraham gave dinner to three strangers.
Then he found out that one of them was you!
Every time I show kindness
to another person
I am really showing it to you.
Thank you for the chance
to be very,
very kind.
Amen.

EXPLORE SOME MORE
Thoughts
There are some who would say that, as a Christian, you shouldn’t share with children a book (or movie) that has a witch and a spell in it. I am not one of those people. This is a make-believe witch in a fictional story and the children will take it as such. Yes, it’s true that the occult is a real and present danger for our children. But this book isn’t a part of that, nor does it open a doorway to that world. Your children will enjoy the story for what it is, a fun look at the antics of one make-believe witch and take-away a lesson in generosity, kindness, and friendship.

However, it is good to know what the Church teaches on magic and the occult, especially during October when it seems to be all around us. The practice of magic, astrology, the occult, fortune-telling, interpretation of omens, and visiting mediums are alien to the belief in God’s power and care for us. They are sins against the first commandment: I am the Lord, your God. You shall not have strange Gods before me. There’s lots more to be said about this, so I’ve included some resources that explain it well.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church, articles 2115-2117, which can be found here – http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/__P7E.HTM

This article from the Archdiocese of Toledo offers an easily readable explanation –https://toledodiocese.org/images/uploads/page_assets/Religious%20Education%20for%20Youth/REoccult_and_catholicfaith.pdf

Word Every Catholic Should Know
hospitality: entertaining guests in a friendly and generous way. Hospitality is part of the virtue of charity which is love of God and love of others.

Relevant Scripture 
Find this story in a children’s Bible: Abraham’s Visitors
Genesis 18:1-9

Talk-it-up (Use this question to spark family conversation this week, perhaps in the car or over dinner.)
Who needs (or needed) your gift of hospitality today?

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