This was a phenomenal book. The concept of “Radically Ordinary Christian Hospitality” is truly radical and yet completely ordinary and practically approachable. I’ve rarely felt so convicted by a book other than the Bible, and I do know most of my neighbors by name. Rosaria and her husband Kent have arranged their lives to open the door of their home to others almost daily and to practice table fellowship with their neighbors. They know “that the sin that will undo them is their own, not their neighbor’s, no matter how big their neighbor’s sin may appear.”
As Rosaria repeats throughout her novel, the image we are to emulate is that of Jesus Christ, and “Jesus dined with sinners, but he did not sin with sinners. It is vital to see what Jesus did not do. He did not tell the leper that God loved him and approved of him just as he was.” We are called to do the same because “God never gets (our neighbor’s) address wrong.” He has placed our neighbors in our lives on purpose. Rosaria powerfully explains what we as Christians should already know:
“Strangers and refugees are marked by the dignity of the God of the universe, but also the imputation of Adam’s sin. In order for the gospel to be proclaimed in deed and word, we must recognize that we all deserve hell itself – with all its ravages, injustices, poverty and pain – and that only through the blood of Christ, poured out for the sins of His people, and through the power that God used to raise Christ from the grave, bestowed upon all who submit to the authority of Scripture, are any of us saved.”
As you can no doubt tell, this book is powerfully packed with deep and intricate theology leaving us all without excuse for loving our neighbors. Rosaria lives what she writes, and my fellow introverts, we are without excuse, Rosaria is one of us. Yet she carves out the time in solitude that she needs while stretching and growing to reach the people God has placed in her midst.
This is the best book on neighboring/ missional living that I have ever read, and I have read quite a few. Rosaria does not shy away from difficult topics that inevitably rear their heads quickly when we begin to invite our neighbors into our homes. She tackles sexuality, gender identity, politics, wrestling with our neighbor’s radically different viewpoints, mental health, and the epidemic of loneliness in our society as well as many other topics. She tackles it all and does so with grace and honesty. This one has earned itself the privilege of a place in my personal library and the rare honor of being a book I could and would eagerly read many more times while still gleaning new insights from it on each successive re-reading.