God appeared to Abraham
at the Oaks of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance of his tent.
It was the hottest part of the day. He looked up and saw three men
standing. He ran from his tent to greet them and bowed before them.
He said, "Master, if it please you, stop for a while with your servant.
I’ll get some water so you can wash your feet. Rest under this tree.
I’ll get some food to refresh you on your way, since your travels have
brought you across my path."
They said, "Certainly. Go ahead."
Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah. He said, "Hurry. Get three cups of our best flour; knead it and make bread."
Then Abraham ran to the cattle pen and picked out a nice plump calf and
gave it to the servant who lost no time getting it ready. Then he got
curds and milk, brought them with the calf that had been roasted, set
the meal before the men, and stood there under the tree while they ate. Genesis 18:1-18 (TM)
I was struck as I read this morning by Abraham’s hospitality – his sense of duty to care for and treat a strange visitor with honor. It reminded me of Hebrews 13:1…Stay on good terms with each other, held together by love. Be ready
with a meal or a bed when it’s needed. Why, some have extended
hospitality to angels without ever knowing it! Have we forgotten what Jesus taught in the parable of the sheep and goats…"Whenever you failed to do one of these things to someone who was being
overlooked or ignored, that was me—you failed to do it to me."
We’ve lost a sense of hospitality in our culture, at least the hospitality I remember as a child. We don’t know our neighbors as well. We don’t make a big deal for guests. We don’t open our homes as readily or "bring out the fine china".
I think we’d do well to get back to truly believing our guests are Jesus’ very presence in our home.