Hospitality Corner: Summer

by Melissa Taft

Editor’s Note: The following reflection has been excerpted from Christine Sine’s post Guests of the World. The accompanying recipe is from Christine Sine’s post Refreshing Drinks From The Garden For Hot Days. We hope you enjoy this series of seasonal hospitality reflections and recipes!

As we entertain and enjoy fun, food and fellowship together, I am very aware that in some ways all of us are guests, guests of God and of God’s world, generously and lavishly experiencing the hospitality of a world that is itself a gift from God. I am aware of that as I pick raspberries in the early morning, enjoying the abundance of God’s provision. I am aware of it too as I gaze on the beauty around me and breathe in the fragrance of God’s presence.

Celtic saints, who saw themselves as hospites mundi, or guests of the world, living lightly on this earth and not becoming attached to possessions or to one location. These followers of Christ, saw all of life as a pilgrimage, a journey towards God.  They believed that we live in perpetual exile, constantly seeking after Christ, and our outward journeys are to reflect our inner transformation. In exiling themselves from the comforts of home, pilgrims taught themselves to rely only on God.

The Celts had a saying for those setting out on pilgrimage: “Let your feet follow your heart until you find your place of resurrection.” This was a spot where God’s will for a pilgrim would be revealed and fulfilled. The place of resurrection need not be a famous holy site or a place far away. It could be a simple stone hut, a windswept island, or a secluded valley. The important thing was that each person needed to find their own site.

Recognizing ourselves as guests and pilgrims effects how we view everything that happens to us. Pilgrims and those who travel frequently do not take anything for granted. They learn to be grateful for comforts that those who never leave home take for granted. For a guest, each meal, especially a home cooked meal, is a gift of love from the host. Each bed provided for us to sleep in is a generous act of sharing and caring. Everything is now a gift of God.

So as you go out into the world think of yourself today as a guest of the world and prepare yourself for the amazing gifts God wants to lavish on you today – gifts of friendship, and food. Gifts of fellowship and love and caring. And let me know what new things open up for you as a result.

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Citrus/Mint Iced tea punch
  • 8 teaspoons Loose Leaf red or black tea Or 8-10 Teabags (I like to use fruit flavoured teas)
  • l cup (or more) Fresh Mint Leaves
  • 8 cups Boiling Water
  • 1 cup Orange Juice – or seaberry juice if you have this available
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice – or use lemon verbena from the garden
  • 1 Orange, Cut Into Thin Slices
  • 1 Lemon, Cut Into Thin Slices
  • 1 Lime, Cut Into Thin Slices
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup ginger stevia syrup (recipe found below, or substitute with a simple syrup especially for those with stevia allergies)
  • 2 litre bottle sparkling mineral water or soda water.

This is a favourite for our summer BBQs & picnics. Put tea & mint in a heat-resistant glass or ceramic pot. Pour in the boiling water & steep for 30 minutes. Strain & refrigerate. Pour into a large pitcher. Add orange juice. Add orange, lemon & lime rinds. Add ginger syrup & mineral water and serve with ice cubes.  If you prefer a more lemony flavour add 1/2 cup lemon juice or a cup of lemon verbena leaves to the tea mix.

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 – 2 tablespoon dried stevia, crushed – I use a mortar and pestle
  • ¾ cup ginger root, finely chopped or grated
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla
  • ¼ cup lemon juice or 1/2 cup lemon verbena leaves chopped
  • 1 cup mint leaves (optional)

Bring water to boil. Add ginger & stevia, as well as the lemon verbena and mint if you are using them.  Boil for 10 minutes, strain into a heat resistant container. Add vanilla and lemon juice. This syrup will store in the refrigerator for several weeks

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