Monday, September 17, 2012

Entertaining Angels

New International Version (NIV) Hebrews 13:2
Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.

I loved the verse from yesterday that spoke of angels watching over our precious ones.  I love this one as well, but it kind of makes me nervous.  I'll tell you why...

I have some gifts in this life, as do we all.  I've long noticed, though, that I don't really have the gift of hospitality.  At least, that's what I thought.  You see, I'm not the one who just loves cooking the big holiday meals.  I'm not good at noticing when someone's glass of lemonade needs refilled.  Actually, I'm not always even hospitable enough to remember to offer then a glass of lemonade in the first place!  I think you get my point.  For some people, entertaining comes easily.  For the rest of us, it isn't our most natural gift.


But, if you also don't feel you have the gift of hospitality, not to worry.  I think we're still ok here.  I don't think this verse is talking about setting a beautiful table or even being a good cook.  I think it is talking about how we treat strangers.

(photo from www.freeimages.co.uk )

First of all, some translations use the word "messengers" instead of "angels".  That is, perhaps we aren't entertaining actual angels but rather someone who turns out to be a messenger of God.  One source I read stated that perhaps the stranger doesn't even know that they are going to end up being a messenger of God.  Hmmmm.... either way, I think the lesson is that we are to be nice.  I think I can do that!  Wait, how nice do I have to be?  Is this going to cost money?

So, who are the strangers?  I guess the lady at the post office could be considered a stranger to me.  The young girl who asks if I need help out with my groceries is a stranger to me.  I suppose it is kind of like the Biblical question, "Who is my neighbor?"  As it turns out, we are supposed to treat everyone with love and respect.  If you want to read another blog on this topic, I suggest you click here.  I don't know the author of the blog but I did like the article he wrote on this verse in particular.

I am not a theologian.  I don't pretend to be certain what this verse means.  I lean more toward believing it is literally speaking of angels, heavenly beings.  I really love the idea of angels walking among us, don't you?