A children's message on hospitality


Make a welcome mat out of paper with verse printed on it in the pineapple shape, fresh whole pineapple


1 Peter 4:9: “Offer hospitality to one another.” (NIV) “Welcome others into your homes without complaining.” (New International Reader's Version)

Our Pastor is starting this Sunday to talk about a big word: Hospitality. Do you know what that means? One of the things it means is Welcome.

(show welcome mat) This mat is on the floor near our door. It helps collect the sand that sticks to our shoes when we come into the house, but it also is a way for us to let people know that we’d like to have them in our home.

(show paper) This verse says “Offer hospitality to one another.” (NIV) It’s from 1 Peter 4. Another way to say this verse is: “Welcome others into your homes without complaining.” (New International Reader's Version) Why do you suppose it’s printed inside the shape of a pineapple?

There’s a story about the pineapple. In 1493, Christopher Columbus and his men landed on the island now known as Guadeloupe on their second voyage of discovery. There were no mats with the word welcome printed on them (and it wouldn’t have done any good if there was, because they didn’t speak the same language!) (show pineapple) Instead, if the explorers were welcome in the village, a pineapple was placed by the entrance. It was their symbol for welcome or hospitality. This symbolism spread and it became the custom to have the shape of a pineapple at the entrance of a home to show hospitality

Christopher Columbus brought the fruit back from his voyage. It was named the "pineapple" by the English because of its resemblance to a pine cone and its juicy center, which reminded them of an apple.

The Bible tells us to welcome others without complaining. When friends come over to play, we need to share our toys. When we see a new child coming to church, we could show them where to find the children’s bulletins and the crayons. We want people to feel welcome in our homes and in our church. That’s one way we can show them that Jesus welcomes them into His family.

Let’s pray.