There’s a tradition around our house. It’s been in place for a while now. We serve dinner on paper plates. Actually, we usually just do this when we don’t want to do the dishes. When we do, someone will get the “star plate.” That’s the plate that has a small star drawn on the bottom of it. We shuffle the plates like a deck of cards so no one knows who’s getting the star plate. Getting this plate is a big deal, because whoever ends up with it gets to pick what we have for dessert. It’s really nothing other than getting to choose between a scoop of ice cream or a handful of grapes. But for the one who gets to choose, they’re given the ultimate power and everyone knows it. It’s all done in fun, but you should hear the paper plate trash talk before we discover who got the plate. What we like the most is that in the end, everyone wins.
Practicing hospitality right where we are with the people we love is always a good place to start giving away our love. Especially when we use what we have and do with it what we can. Whether we use paper plates or fancy china, no one really cares what the place settings look like if a person is sitting where they’re loved. It’s a reminder to me that we buy the plates, but love sets the table.
I have a friend whose favorite word is with. I bet that’s one of God’s favorite words too. I can see why. God wanted to be with us, so He sent Jesus. He even named Him Immanuel, God with us, so that we would know He meant it. When Jesus left for heaven, He told His friends the Holy Spirit would be with them.1