In September I had the pleasure of going on my first cruise. It was aboard the Carnival cruise ship Paradise. It was particularly fun because that is one of the cruise ships I get to go on as a Chaplain while they are in port so I knew many of the crew members. The thing that stood out to me the most about the cruise was the efforts of the crew to make me feel welcome, comfortable, entertained and special. I mentioned this to my friend Richard who is from the Philippines and works on the Paradise. He responded that it is all about hospitality. Now that is a word I have never really thought of much and since I have been back I keep thinking about what he said. It is all about hospitality. You know we are told throughout the Bible that as Christians one of the marks of our character is that we are to be given to hospitality. In other words we are to show hospitality to others. That includes both those we know and strangers as well. Jesus laid it out for us in Matthew chapter 25 when he discussed hospitable behavior. Not all of the crew members on the Paradise are Christians but they all bear this mark of hospitality in their character. Think about the difference we could all make in this world if we too would daily show this same hospitality to those around us. As Christians it is supposed to be a mark of our character. Here is a picture of the group of Christians we get to work with on the Carnival Legend. A picture of hospitality!!!