As my aging father transitioned from a three-bedroom apartment to a nursing home, we had to do a lot of clearing out. Almost every time we picked something up to pack away, dad had a story to tell about the item. Some of the stories were interesting, some we had heard before, but one story always made him laugh so hard he would lose his breath. It concerned a six-inch roll which at a first glance looked like an old roll of copper wire. He kept it in a draw in his electronics manufacturing workshop. In the same draw he also kept a small pot of loose change which would never amount to more than a few dollars. Dad said that when his office was broken into, the thieves took the loose change but left behind the roll of wire. What made dad laugh so hard was the fact that the wire was made of solid gold and at the time was worth in the tens of thousands of dollars.
Whenever dad told that story I think of Hebrews 13:1-2
Keep on loving each other as brothers and sisters. Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it!
Just like the thieves and the roll of gold, quite often we can easily overlook the value and worth of other people.
Angels are the bearers of blessing. I can tell story after story about how I have sat with, talked to or eaten with a complete stranger thinking that I was the one who is blessing them with my presence. In turn, though, it has been the supposed stranger who has brought great blessing to me. I have been blessed with long term friendships, amazing experiences and golden nuggets of information, simply from showing hospitality to a stranger.
But what has all this got to do with Jesus?
When Jesus was telling the parable of the sheep and goats he said,
Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’
And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’ (Matthew 25:37-40)
When we see the stranger, may we see Jesus in them, and in so doing, may we see their real value and therefore why they are more than worthy of our hospitality.
Spiritual & Cultural Leader