Fridays with Benedict: Chapter 56, The Abbot's Table

Chapter 56 of The Rule of St. Benedict is very short but it picks up and continues the theme of hospitality from Chapter 53. Only three verses long Chapter 56--"The Abbot's Table"--starts off with the directive:
1The abbot's table must always be with guests and travelers.
Basically, the leaders of our faith communities must be practitioners and exemplars of hospitality. I'm reminded here of Paul's directives in appointing leaders in the churches he planted. One of their qualifications? Hospitality.
1 Timothy 3.1-2
Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task. Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable...
I wonder how often churches make hospitality a key criterion in identifying, selecting and appointing their leaders?

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3 thoughts on “Fridays with Benedict: Chapter 56, The Abbot's Table”

  1. Fascinating! I can't say I've ever considered hospitality during the process of elder selection. It's an area that I don't think has a clear standard, as I've encountered many different concepts of hospitality even regionally within the United States. I suppose church members would have to consider it as best they could according to their own community's standards.

  2. Speaking of Benedict's Rule and hospitality (as well as Benedict's *ahem* conservative tilt toward hard work and abbey self-sufficiency), you might enjoy this:

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