“Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”
As followers of Christ, we are to reach out, and show hospitality to those who aren’t a part of our group whether the group is a church, or a Sunday School class, or a Bible study, or even our own family because that’s what God does. We are not to exclude them, or shun them, or ignore them. And it’s not sufficient merely to politely tolerate them. No, we are to intentionally seek them out; to make provision for them, and care for them, and consider their needs, just as if they were already a part of the group. We are to take the initiative to welcome newcomers and outsiders; we are to actively encourage them to join in because that’s what God does. He makes the outsider a part of his family. That’s what God did for Israel in Egypt, and that’s what God did for us when we were separated from him.
God came to us. He drew us in. He didn’t wait for us to seek him out. He didn’t expect us to make the first move. And it’s a good thing he didn’t, because if he had, none of us would have ever been saved. But instead, he sought us out. He called us. He made provision for us. And if we are his children, then we will do the same thing. Which means that the burden of making sure outsiders and newcomers are welcomed into our fellowship is on us, and not on them. It’s not their job to somehow muscle their way in. It’s our job to open the door and invite them in.
But it’s important not to confuse hospitality with entertaining. Entertaining is fine china, and cloth napkins, and a meal that took three hours to prepare. Hospitality, on the other hand, is inviting people into your life, just as you are. Hospitality is sharing whatever you’re having, even if it’s just leftover meal, hospitality is real life.
If we practice hospitality, serving one another and reaching out to strangers, then God will be present in our homes, and we will see him do remarkable things. Why not try that? Why not decide, today, that you are going to open your home, and ask God to work? Who knows what wonderful and surprising things will come of it?
Garment of Praise
Monthly Insights for Spiritual Growth, Encouragement and Personal Victory.
Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version of the Bible.
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