Hospitality and eternal consequences
So Abraham ran back to the tent and said to Sarah, “Hurry! Get three large measures of your best flour, kneed it into dough, and bake some bread.” Then Abraham ran out to the her and chose a tender calf and gave it to his servant, who quickly prepared it.” — Genesis 18: 6-7
“What’s the rush, old man?” Someone may wonder. It could be a question today if someone didn’t understand the culture of Abraham and Sarah’s day because guests of any kind, including complete strangers, were treated very well.
These three strangers were indeed special. In other parts of the text (v 22 and 19:1), it is revealed that the three are Yahweh and two angels visiting Abraham and Sarah. They came upon Abraham suddenly, but there is no indication that Abraham knew just how divine these guests were—at least at first.
Like Abraham, we should rush to strangers and run to meet their immediate and longstanding needs. These days let’s return to the Good Samaritan again and again. No grandeur. No camera rolling. No social media moment. Just overwhelming kindness to someone obviously hurting. Jesus emphasizes the importance of hospitality to those in need (those who are hungry, thirsty, a stranger, naked, sick, or in prison). He also warns that failure to show hospitality will have eternal consequences (Matthew 25:31-46).
Let’s make the right eternal consequences. Heaven can have moments on earth today. In this moment. Here. Now. Yes, we can and should react to the hard news happening in our nation. Then, too, we can also respond to it with greater empath, deeper intentionality, and wider joy that, in turn, will bring good news. For Abraham and Sarah, the good news was the announcement from Yahweh that they’d be having a child; for us it is the reminder that God’s child, Jesus, changed—and continues to change—everything we do, like loving on strangers.
PRAYER: Lord, send me the stranger, and may I respond as You’ve called me to do. Amen.