To be hospitable in Abraham’s day meant that being hospitable was not optional, it was expected. Abraham, while dependent on the Lord, acted in an intentionally brave and courageous way. In Genesis 18:2-5 we read how the Lord appeared again to Abraham while he was living in the oak grove at Mamre. One hot summer afternoon as he was sitting at the opening of his tent, he suddenly noticed three men coming toward him. He sprang up to meet them and welcomed them. “Sirs”, he said, “please don’t go any further. Stop a while and rest here in the shade of this tree while I get water to refresh your feet, and a bite to eat to strengthen you. Do stay awhile before continuing your journey.” “All right,” they said, “do as you have said.”
Abraham sprang up, in other words, he was in a state of expectation which drove him to action in order to meet the needs of these traveling strangers. Abraham took a leap of faith. This type of action takes courage because you never know how your act will be responded to. Meeting another’s need for food and shelter was and still is one of the most immediate and practical ways to obey God and do His will. It is also a time honored relationship builder. Hebrews 13:2 suggests that we, like Abraham, might actually entertain angels.
When was the last time you welcomed someone into your home for a brief stay? Are you, like Abraham, waiting expectantly for the opportunity to receive visitors for the sake of the Kingdom?
Does your church have a hospitality ministry? If not, would you consider starting one? Perhaps you have a sister church in another part of the world who would be greatly impacted by connecting with you and your congregation.
Contact Karen Frisella - firstname.lastname@example.org, former Director of Willow Creek Community Church’s Global Hospitality Ministry and founder of Joy Along The Journey. Karen has a passion for helping churches establish their own Hospitality Ministry and helping Christ-followers rediscover this ancient practice, in a contemporary way, for themselves.