“Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it..” Hebrews 13:2
Have you ever walked into someplace new, and truly felt like a stranger? Maybe you noticed the stares of others and judgmental glances. Or worse… maybe you were completely ignored altogether. As much as I hate to say it, the first example that popped in my head was an experience I had while visiting a church.
It is such a detriment to the body of Christ when we are unable to show hospitality and love to the outside world. Believers must always be fighting against the tendency to be exclusive and judgmental, especially to those who are looking to find faith. So whether we are at church, in the neighborhood, or at social gatherings, we must always be cognizant of the signals we send to others.
I love Romans 12 and what it has to say in the NLT:
“Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.”
Paul instructed his readers to “practice hospitality.” The book of Hebrews goes even further, saying that when we show hospitality to strangers, we could be unknowingly entertaining angels. By showing gracious kindness to those who come our way, we echo the Savior’s invitation for salvation, which declares, “Let him who hears say, ‘Come!’ And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely” (Rev. 22:17).
The work is not done just by bringing people in to the church. We must show them what we’re about through our actions and welcoming spirit. To show someone loving hospitality just might be the first step in showing that person Jesus.