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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 03-05-2017, 01:58 PM Thread Starter
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The Gift of Welcome

The Gift of Welcome
March 5, 2017

Read: Hebrews 13:1–2
Bible in a Year: Numbers 34–36; Mark 9:30–50

Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers.—Hebrews 13:2

The dinner where we hosted families from five nations remains a wonderful memory. Somehow the conversation didn’t splinter into twos, but we all contributed to a discussion of life in London from the viewpoints of different parts of the world. At the end of the evening, my husband and I reflected that we had received more than we gave, including the warm feelings we experienced in fostering new friendships and learning about different cultures.

The writer of the book of Hebrews concluded his thoughts with some exhortations for community life, including that his readers should continue to welcome strangers. For in doing so, “some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it” (13:2). He may have been referring to Abraham and Sarah, who as we see in Genesis 18:1-12 welcomed three strangers, reaching out to them with generosity and treating them to a feast, as was the custom in biblical times. They didn’t know that they were entertaining angels who brought them a message of blessing.

We don’t ask people into our homes in the hope of gaining from them, but often we receive more than we give. May the Lord spread His love through us as we reach out with His welcome. —Amy Boucher Pye


Lord God, You are the source of all that we have. May we share what we receive, that You may be glorified.

When we practice hospitality, we share God’s goodness and gifts.

INSIGHT: In Hebrews 13 we are reminded to show “hospitality to strangers” (v. 2). This is about more than inviting friends over for Sunday lunch. In Bible times, travelers and strangers were often invited to stay in people’s homes. The hosts would provide food and a place to sleep along with safety and protection. We can serve others by opening our lives and homes to the people God places in our path. Can you remember a time when others showed hospitality to you? How did that make you feel? In what ways can you show hospitality? Adapted from Welcoming the Stranger. Go to ourdailybread.org/lookingdeeper.

Share your thoughts on today’s devotional on Facebook or www.odb.org.
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 03-05-2017, 02:54 PM
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Re: The Gift of Welcome

Agree whole-heartedly with the message; I would only say that I don't believe that Abraham didn't know who his guests were. From his actions that were done personally, by a man with a large contingent of people who worked for him, to how he did them (at great haste, running hither, thither, and yon), to the size of the feast that was prepared (enough for at least 100), to his waiting on them as they ate, indicates to me that he knew quite well who the three were.

That said, it changes the lesson not a whit; we are charged to do well by, and with, others. In Matthew 25:35-40, Jesus explains how what we do to and for others, we are doing to and for Him. The contrast to that, of course, is that when we don't care for others, we turn our backs on Him...

"Man is the only animal that blushes... or needs to." - Mark Twain
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