Stop and thank God for being present with you today. Ask for God’s guidance as you hear God’s voice through scripture and the writer.
Genesis 18:1-10 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
The Lord appeared to Abraham by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat at the entrance of his tent in the heat of the day. He looked up and saw three men standing near him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent entrance to meet them, and bowed down to the ground. He said, “My lord, if I find favor with you, do not pass by your servant. Let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree. Let me bring a little bread, that you may refresh yourselves, and after that you may pass on—since you have come to your servant.” So they said, “Do as you have said.” And Abraham hastened into the tent to Sarah, and said, “Make ready quickly three measures of choice flour, knead it, and make cakes.” Abraham ran to the herd, and took a calf, tender and good, and gave it to the servant, who hastened to prepare it. Then he took curds and milk and the calf that he had prepared, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree while they ate.
They said to him, “Where is your wife Sarah?” And he said, “There, in the tent.” Then one said, “I will surely return to you in due season, and your wife Sarah shall have a son.” And Sarah was listening at the tent entrance behind him.
What do you think about when you hear the word, hospitality? The dictionary defines it as, the friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers. When I think about hospitality I think about my mom. Every time a visitor comes into her home, the first thing she does is ask if they are hungry. If they say yes, she’ll make them a meal. If they say no, she’ll make them a meal. Or, at least, set out some snacks and a beverage for them.
Hospitality is a gift of the Spirit and a reflection of compassion. When we think about hospitality, we often think about showing kindness to people that enter our homes. However, hospitality is not just something we can offer guests at our homes; it is something we can offer anywhere we go. To paraphrase the definition, it is the reception of guests, visitors, or strangers. Guests, visitors, and strangers is congruent to our definition for the common biblical word, “neighbor”.
As reflections of Christ in the world, it is suggested that we offer hospitality, not just when someone enters our home, but whenever we encounter an opportunity. That can be at work, with friends or family, at the gym, or anywhere we find ourselves during our weekly routines. Be friendly, generous, receptive, and entertaining to all people. Through you, they will experience the Spirit of Christ.
Benevolent Giver, lead us to be reflective of Christ. Let us be the hands, voice, feet, and love of Christ in our communities. Give us the patience we need and fill us with the Spirit so that those we encounter will experience you. In the name of Christ we lift our prayer, AMEN
Go with God!