One of the key means by which Christians are called to build up relationships with one another is through hospitality. Very often the best way, but not the only way, of achieving this is by welcoming people into our homes.
I wrote yesterday about my perception of the way the government’s policy in response to the coronavirus outbreak has been working out. I specifically contextualised this in the context of churches. Please read that here. In that piece I emphasised the difference between “shoulds” and “musts”. The understanding of these terms also has a bearing upon how we can exercise hospitality now.
A consulting of the relevant document about meeting with people from other households, which is here, places the statement about who and how we can meet people in the “should” category. This means that it is not a matter of law and mandatory, but rather strongly advised. I wrote about the implications of the “must” and “should” terms yesterday (see here). Accordingly, it may be unwise to have more than one household to your home, but not illegal.
In all this we need to remember the essential thrust of government policy is to “stay alert” so as to “stop the spread”.
One further issue we need to thoughtful of is the impression that we are giving to our neighbours. We need to consider that our neighbours may have no awareness of the nuance between “musts” and “shoulds”. If our neighbours are continually seeing different people going in and out of our homes they may be alarmed at the way we are conducting ourselves. We may feel we are exercising due caution and wisdom. However, we need to be thoughtful about the impact upon our witness before them.
Let us not forget though in all this that we are called into a community of faith as believers. We need each other and proper social interaction is a means of facilitating this. We are called to exercise hospitality.
We go forward seeking to be wise and honour the Lord at this difficult and confusing time.