Angels Unawares

The New Testament has a surprising number of passages which exhort Christians to open their homes in hospitality to others. Likely, the biblical authors had been recipients of hospitality when they traveled the world, preaching the gospel and planting churches (Rom.15:32; Philemon 1:7).

However, the one passage on hospitality that strikes me as unusual is found in (Heb.13:2). Here, the writer indicates that hospitality should be extended to strangers because you might inadvertently entertain angels. We have just had an elderly couple with whom we ministered for several years drop by on their way to somewhere. Since they had several connections to others in our area, we arranged for a couple of meals for them at our home. I personally enjoy the hubbub of activity that surrounds having people over. I know it creates a great deal more work for my wife, but she indicates to me that she enjoys practicing this Christian virtue as well. However, now that the house is just occupied by just the 6 of us again, I can’t help wondering about this admonition. We entertained people we knew well over the past couple of days. The Raske’s, the Fosmark’s, the Burrills, Sarah Henderson…but what about strangers? Opening my home to people I know is one thing, opening my door to a stranger is something different.

Perhaps I’m not as hospitable as I thought I was. Perhaps I need to be reminded that loving others (Mk.12:31), is not just about loving those who love me in return. God, give me a heart to love those who I do not know as much as I love those I do know!

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