Hospitality is a lost art within the church. This probably has to do with the way our culture has changed over the past fifty years or so. While folks used to sit out on the front porch, they now generally spend time secluded on the back patio or inside in front of the T.V. People just do not get together as much as they used to. This cultural change has impacted the way the church interacts internally. Hospitality in general is not what it once was.
In Acts 28 we see hospitable believers. Paul was on his voyage to Rome. After much struggle, including a shipwreck, Paul had almost arrived. This is the setting when we read 28:13-15. Paul's team had come to Puteoli. They were likely in need of help. They met some Christians for the first time. What did these believers do? They allowed Paul and his friends to stay with them for a week. That is impressive. I wonder if I would be willing to take strangers, even if they were brothers, into my house for a full week with no time to prepare for them.
After this, Paul's group headed to Rome. Believers there came to meet Paul. Luke tells us that Paul "thanked God and took courage." Under the circumstances Paul would most likely have this response because he knew these brothers would offer assistance. We can surmise that these Romans acted much like the brothers in Puteoli had. They offered some form of hospitality.
We should learn much from these early believers. Even with no advance notice they provided for brothers in need, opening up their homes to them. For someone like me this is a great challenge. How would I respond in a similar situation? How would you?