Pay attention to the tension in your body. Let go of it and any expectations to do anything other than God’s will today. Prepare yourself to hear God’s word.
Hebrews 13:1-8 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
Let mutual love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it. Remember those who are in prison, as though you were in prison with them; those who are being tortured, as though you yourselves were being tortured. Let marriage be held in honor by all, and let the marriage bed be kept undefiled; for God will judge fornicators and adulterers. Keep your lives free from the love of money, and be content with what you have; for he has said, “I will never leave you or forsake you.” So we can say with confidence,
“The Lord is my helper;
I will not be afraid.
What can anyone do to me?”
Remember your leaders, those who spoke the word of God to you; consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
Through him, then, let us continually offer a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that confess his name. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.
Love… That is at the heart of today’s reading. It sounds so simple and yet we seem to struggle with it so much. Very few things have been thrown around like that of the word love. Though the word love has various meanings and usage in the western world and in the Greek text, we tend to forget the original context of the powerful word ‘love’. We love our home, we love our favorite food, we love our favorite tune, we love our favorite activity, and the list goes on.
Yet, here in the letter to the Hebrew people, the author is describing a ‘Christian, family, Christ-Like love’. Not only are followers of Christ supposed to continue in that “Christ – Like” love for one another, we are to follow in his love for others by: showing hospitality to strangers, remembering those in prison as if it were us, remembering those being tortured as if it were us, honoring marriage, and forsaking the love of money.
Love is a powerful expression, it is a powerful act, it is a powerful gift. Love can truly impact the world we live in. God, who is Love, invites us to be a part of something bigger than ourselves. Something ‘other-than’, ‘other-worldly’. That is an invitation worth accepting. May we continue in mutual, Christ-Like Love.
Loving God, we have become so flippant about love that we rarely understand its power. Remind us of Your love for all of creation. Remind us of Christ’s love for Humanity. Reveal to us through Your Spirit, all the ways in which Your love shows hospitality to strangers, and visits the prisoner, and the suffering. We ask this in the Name of Jesus Christ who is the same (Love) yesterday, today, and forever. Amen.
Go with God!