Saturday, February 16, 2013

Entertaining Angels

“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it” -Heb. 13:2 We just don't think about angels a whole lot. If we’ve just read “This Present Darkness” or heard a sermon on angels, then we might consider the angel “deal” for a while, but we live in the reality of what we see, not in reality of what is. Paul reminds us in his writings to the Hebrews, that angels exist. Of course, many other scriptures remind us of the existence of angels, but we’re quick to forget. We’re taught at an early age “not to talk to strangers.” We learn that it’s easier and safer to avoid eye contact and walk on by. But Jesus Himself showed kindness and love for the most ordinary and simple people. The Hebrews writer reminds us that each “appointment” with a stranger may be with a messenger of God. Or it may not be an angel. Either way, we’re challenged to love our neighbor. And our attitude toward others is contagious. Our kids mimic what they see in us as parents. Barbara Bush once said, “Never lose sight of the fact that the most important yardstick of your success will be how you treat other people - your family, friends, and coworkers, and even strangers you meet along the way.” When your car breaks down (and it will), tell the tow truck operator that you appreciate his business; when you’re driving through Sonic, tell the cashier to have a great day; when you’re driving past a waiting vehicle, let them in; when you’ve been on hold for 5 minutes, greet the operator in a courteous way. It’s easy to be grouchy, but the spirit of God dwelling within us as Christians produces kindness and hospitality. And remember, rarely will the kindness be deserved or earned. The purist form of hospitality is fueled by grace. No obligation, no payback. Just a willingness to pass on what Jesus has passed to us. It’s simply free. Pray for opportunities to show hospitality this week. The needs are huge and people are in need. Give of your time, your money, your position and most importantly, give yourself. Love the person that God places before you. And when you turn around to say goodbye to them, you just might discover that they’re gone. By Eric Joseph Staples ©

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