Scripture: Hebrews 13: 1-16
Key verses: (1-2) 1Let mutual love continue. 2Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.
Reflection: This week I have been at the annual meeting of the Association of Presbyterian Church Educators. Over 700 of us have gathered in Louisville, Kentucky to consider the theme of hospitality, and the implications of teaching and nurturing faith with hospitality in mind. The local committee of Presbyterians have worked hard to welcome a group of enthusiastic educators by greeting us with friendly smiles, helpful directions, and candy at every turn. Many of our workshops have to do with issues of hospitality and welcome. Our preachers and plenary leaders are digging into the theme from multiple angles.
One of our preachers posed this question: “Who do you see?” It seems like a simple question, but it has been working on me. Who do I notice? Soon I will go into the large ballroom for worship. I usually end up looking for people I know to sit with. I’ll scan lots of tables looking for my people. There will be plenty of other people to sit with. People who might not know a lot of people. People sitting alone. People who are different from me. Will I see them? Or will I be too busy looking for my people that I look right past them?
Sometimes hospitality can be as simple as looking for those you would normally skip right over on your way to seeing your usual people. What would it mean for us in the church to show that kind of hospitality and mutual love?
Prayer: Lord, you see me and know me. You see and know all your children. Give me ears to hear and eyes to see others as your children too, and as my sisters and brothers. Help me show hospitality and welcome to all, even when it is uncomfortable. In the name of Christ, I pray. Amen.
Author: Julie Hester
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].