Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it. (Hebrews 13:2)
This is one of my favorite lines in the bible. Simply reading it reminds me of the posture I should take with others, a posture that is not always easy to have. After all, let’s face, people can be frustrating. The guy who cuts you off in the parking lot pulling into that one last spot you were hoping to get. The young lady who gets upset in the check-out line over something you consider trivial, but you have to wait while they hash it out and call the floor manager. People can be frustrating, and yet we are called to show hospitality. We are called to show hospitality in places you would not expect it.
On Sunday we welcomed The Rev. Dr. Samira Paige from Gateway of Grace
as our guest preacher. If there was ever a poster child of someone who has been surprised by hospitality, she would be it. She shared her story of how her family escaped from Iran in the 80’s, fleeing over the mountains through the snow and the cold, almost freezing to death. She shared about how, in Turkey, the Mexican ambassador just happened to be passing by as she was trying to get passage out. He stopped, cleared them, and gave her his personal phone number in case they ran into any snags. She shared about how in Mexico City, they so happened to run into a former tenant of her husband in Iran. Every step of the way, they received unexpected welcome in unexpected ways, all the way into the U.S. where they were given a place to live, help to get their feet on the ground and proper documentation, and a church who invited them to worship. God’s hand, it seems, was on Samira’s family from start to finish.
What kind of world might it be if we were each to show hospitality to strangers, to treat them like we would an angel from heaven? It would be a world, I think, filled with unexpected welcome.
Published on 01/22/2018 @ 8:05 PM CDT