The Blessing of Hospitality

The Blessing of Hospitality. In the Book of Hebrews, the writer encourages Christians to keep on loving fellow Christians and be hospitable to strangers. He writes, 

“Keep on loving each other as brothers. Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it”
 (Hebrews 13:1-2). 

He is referring to a historical incident from Genesis when Abraham saw three men coming across the plain. He invited them to rest a bit and dine with him. He didn’t know who they were, but it was the hospitable thing to do. After the fact, he discovered that they were angels of God on their way to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. But they also conveyed a special promise of blessing to Abraham: his aged wife Sarah would conceive and bear him a son. That son – Isaac - would be the promised bearer of God’s covenant which would eventually bless all nations through the birth of Abraham’s descendant Jesus. Could Abraham have postponed hearing the news of this blessing by being inhospitable to those three strangers? I guess we will never know since it seems that hospitality was part of the godly fiber from which Abraham and Sarah were made.

Hospitality at Church. As the summer quickly melts into a new school year, our congregation will see an influx of visitors. These are individuals and families in search of a church home. Some may be new to the area. Others may simply be searching for a new congregation in which to sink their roots or raise their family. Most of them will be “strangers” to the members of Holy Trinity. Too often we shy away from people we don’t know. We may feel a bit awkward in making conversation. However, it should be remembered that they have the same needs as each of us: they are sinners for whom Christ died in search of a place for refuge, joy, peace, and spiritual growth. Hospitality was a natural response on Abraham’s part, and so it should be for us modern day followers of Christ. It is not difficult. Let me share a simple procedure.

The Friendly Five. While walking through the hallways of St. Anthony’s Hospital in downtown Oklahoma City, I encountered a sign. I think it was intended for their employees, but I thought how fitting it would be for all of us at Holy Trinity.

It was entitled “The Five Foot Rule - when you approach anyone in the hallway, within 5 feet, there are 5 rules to follow which were called The Friendly Five: 

MAKE EYE CONTACT;

SMILE;

SAY HELLO;

ASK IF YOU CAN ASSIST THEM IN ANY WAY;

WALK THEM THERE, DON’T POINT!

If making a contact at church with someone you don’t know, I challenge you to try The Friendly Five. It is easy to do. And you will be a blessing to someone unfamiliar with Holy Trinity and you will also be blessed as well!

With Joy in Jesus, Pastor Barrie Henke