The Gift of Welcome

Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers. Hebrews 13:2

The dinner where we hosted families from five nations remains a wonderful memory. Somehow the conversation didn’t splinter into twos, but we all contributed to a discussion of life in London from the viewpoints of different parts of the world. At the end of the evening, my husband and I reflected that we had received more than we gave, including the warm feelings we experienced in fostering new friendships and learning about different cultures.

The writer of the book of Hebrews concluded his thoughts with some exhortations for community life, including that his readers should continue to welcome strangers. For in doing so, “some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it” (13:2). He may have been referring to Abraham and Sarah, who as we see in Genesis 18:1–12 welcomed three strangers, reaching out to them with generosity and treating them to a feast, as was the custom in biblical times. They didn’t know that they were entertaining angels who brought them a message of blessing.

May the Lord spread His love through us as we reach out with His welcome.

We don’t ask people into our homes in the hope of gaining from them, but often we receive more than we give. May the Lord spread His love through us as we reach out with His welcome.

Lord God, You are the source of all that we have. May we share what we receive, that You may be glorified.

When we practice hospitality, we share God’s goodness and gifts.

INSIGHT:In Hebrews 13 we are reminded to show “hospitality to strangers” (v. 2). This is about more than inviting friends over for Sunday lunch. In Bible times, travelers and strangers were often invited to stay in people’s homes. The hosts would provide food and a place to sleep along with safety and protection. We can serve others by opening our lives and homes to the people God places in our path. Can you remember a time when others showed hospitality to you? How did that make you feel? In what ways can you show hospitality? Adapted from Welcoming the Stranger. Go to ourdailybread.org/lookingdeeper.

 

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