Imagine God comes down to earth, knocks on your front door and asks to have a meal. What would you do?
If it were me, I think I would tell my mum to prepare the finest meal that she could come up with at short notice, and then after she passed out on the floor from the news that God was coming to dinner, I would gather all the good food I could find and attempt to make something to the best of my ability.
That is pretty much what happened to Abraham in Genesis chapter 18 (except for the mum bit). Abraham was sitting outside his tent in the heat of the day when the Lord, accompanied by two others, appeared to him. Bowing before him, Abraham said, “If I have found favour in your eyes, my lord, do not pass your servant by.” He then offered to provide a meal for them for their refreshment. God, obviously not really needing food, was pleased to receive the offer and Abraham got to work gathering the finest flour, a choice tender calf, and more of the best he could offer his guests.
It’s obvious that we would offer only our best for God. To have God come for dinner would be astounding to say the least. But when it comes to everyday people, how do we treat them?
Who are we entertaining?
We may be quick to offer the best to someone of great importance, but what about someone who is easily overlooked? To put this into a different context, sometimes it’s easy to treat some people with more respect than others—maybe because they are in a position of power and authority or just because of their age.
In Paul’s letter to Timothy, he tells him: “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and purity.” 1 Timothy chapter 4 verse 12. We all have probably had a time in our lives when we have felt overlooked or unimportant. It’s not a nice feeling.
We have most likely all had times of great need too and when that great need has been met by the kindness of a stranger, it is deeply impacting.
The sick, the poor, the hungry, the thirsty, the prisoner, the homeless are perhaps not what people imagine when they think of God and yet God is very near to them. We are given opportunities to share God’s love every day and it is in loving the most unlikely that God is most pleased. It is here that God sees how deep our love really goes, and that kind of love has a way of passing on to others.
Matthew chapter 25 verses 35-36: “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.”
God looks after our needs, and because of his great love, wants us to love others and help to look after the needs of others when it arises. Mathew chapter 25 verse 40 says "The King will reply, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
We never really know who we are entertaining. Hebrews chapter 13 verse 2 says - “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.”
Jesse Moore draws from the Bible and classical literature for insight into life’s tough questions. He is currently studying at university to become a film-maker.
Jesse Moore’s previous articles can be viewed at: http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/jesse-moore.html