Our first retreat at Nether Springs was called Hospitality, heart and home. In the centre of our gathering, sat a small pottery figure of a person sitting holding a pearl. It reminded me of one of Reuben’s favourite parables... the pearl of great price. And as I had time to reflect on hospitality, it became for me, more and more, like a pearl of great value. Pearls are becoming a bit of a feature for me this year –some say thirty years of marriage is a pearl anniversary... and that is us this year. As I reflect on what is of most value in my life I realise more and more it is about relationships and about love. Hospitality is at the heart of both –it is the way we open ourselves and what we have to others and to God. I give and receive that hospitality –that opening of self to the other - in our marriage, and I also give and receive it within many other relationships –with people and with God. Hospitality says we have time and energy available for you. If we get too busy, we can run out of the space we need for true hospitality. Jesus understood the importance of both giving and receiving hospitality –he is our generous host –most apparent at the communion table, and yet we also invite him into our lives as an act of our hospitality toward God. I look forward to further unpacking these concepts of hospitality on my return.