Jul 08, 2010
Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.
So when was the last time you had an angel over for dinner? Not sure? Me either, though the idea is pretty intriguing, isn’t it? Apparently there isn’t some sort of identifying mark or give-away, like wings peeking out from under a shirt or making the food disappear in a puff of smoke. No, seems like angels might appear like ordinary house guests. All the more reason to entertain, since you just… never… know.
But having potential angels over for dinner isn’t the only (or even the primary) reason to practice hospitality. Tangibly showing the love of Jesus, on the other hand, is a really great reason.
See, I understand that most of us aren’t confident in our ability to talk about Jesus. Just mention the word evangelism and guilt and fear begin to spread like a bad cold. Perhaps we see images of knocking on doors and trying to verbally arm-wrestle someone into believing. Or we fear being labeled as one of “those people”, written off as a religious zealot with little connection to reality. Or, we simply know realize that people don’t want to be treated like projects, since we don’t either.
All of this makes sense to me, and its why the practice of hospitality makes even more compelling. First, it’s something that any of us can do: having someone over for dinner, dessert, or coffee isn’t an impossible task, is it? It’s a natural way to simply develop a relationship. If you don’t know them well, just ask about their story. Where did they grow up? What do they like to do?
And when the time is right—maybe at the 15th dinner or the 50th—when God prompts you or they ask, share a bit of your own story. Tell them about your own faith in Jesus, in non-churchy words. And leave it at that, trusting that God is the One who does the work.
But here’s our part, and it’s not just a command in the Bible, it’s also a great idea: simply practice hospitality. Invite people over, sharing some food and your life, too.