“Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.”
Love others (Heb 13:1-2) by showing hospitality, even to strangers. Seek to show God’s love whenever possible, especially in the exercise of hospitality.
In a day and age where so much is done in order to get something, to manipulate and control others (perhaps any age in this fallen world), God would call us to show hospitality to strangers, just for the sake of showing hospitality and loving people for God's sake.
In Genesis 18-19, when Abraham and Lot showed hospitality to mysterious visitors, who in reality, were messengers sent by God. Abraham and Lot literally entertained angels. Hebrews conveys this principle: it is preferable to open our homes to needy guests than run the risk of offending God by treating his messengers inhospitably.
Who do you consider “strangers?”
People you hardly know. Someone you just met at the weekend worship service in church, a first-time visitor who have just walked-in to our Sunday service, knowing absolutely no one. After the worship service is over, as they are about to take their leave, you invite this person to join you and your family for lunch.
Or it could be the foreign worker/cleaner that keeps your neighborhood well swept and litter free. Why not bring a packaged lunch and show him hospitality as a gesture of your appreciation for his work? A relative of mine once invited a small group of these cleaners from a South Indian nation who were all of another faith to join him and his cell group for a Christmas dinner. They were all very touched by the love and hospitality of Christians. They “saw” the love of God.
Jesus himself made reference to this in Matthew 25:35-40,
“I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; … And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me."
Abraham and Lot entertained angels without knowing. Jesus said when we extend hospitality to strangers we might just be ministering to none other than Jesus Himself! What a thought!
(1) Could we be more aware of the strangers in our midst and minister hospitality to them?
(2) Who are the strangers who you at times come into contact with?
Pray that the Lord will quicken our hearts to extend hospitality to people we may not know that well. May COR become a very hospitable church that is very welcoming of strangers. Amen.