HOSPITALITY TO ANGELS
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 (NIV)
As we see in Hebrews chapter twelve, once we “keep our eyes fixed on Jesus,” we will be aware of how we should then live. The writer now turns to the issue of entertaining strangers. After reminding us to keep on loving each other, he now shares that love should also be extended to the strangers in our midst. They could possibly even be angels. I’m sure the Jewish background believers hearing or reading this letter would immediately hearken back to Father Abraham when three strangers passed by one day. He extended full hospitality to them only to discover they were heavenly beings on a special mission.
Aunty Alice was the wife of Pastor Allen Yuan in China, known for her gracious hospitality to everyone who entered her door right until her death in the summer of 2010. Pastor Allen was imprisoned for twenty-one years and eight months for refusing to join the government-controlled Three-Self Patriotic Movement—the official Protestant church under the communist regime.
Alice had five children and her mother-in-law to care for during those many years of her husband’s absence. She was also branded a “counter-revolutionary” and thus could also secure a hard-labor job moving construction rubble from one site to another by heavy push wagons. This still did not generate enough resources to provide for all the family’s needs.
One night her mother-in-law informed her, “Alice, there is no rice left to feed the children tomorrow morning!” Alice was angry and complained to the Lord that He had promised to care for her. She opened her Bible and her eyes fell on the Matthew scripture when Jesus says that if God cares for the birds, will He not also care for you? Her heart was rebuked. She asked for forgiveness from the Lord and went to sleep peacefully.
The next morning before six o’clock there was a knock on the door. Alice slipped on her housecoat and shuffled to the door. There stood a stranger with a big box in her hands. As was her custom, Alice invited her in. She stoked up the fire in the central heating oven and put the kettle on for tea. But the stranger just walked to the table, set down the box and began to leave.
Alice said, “Wait a minute. What’s your name?” The lady replied, “I have no name. Just thank God for that box!” And the stranger disappeared.
With trembling hands, Alice opened the box to find rice, meat, and vegetables. Also in it was an envelope with more money than two month’s salary. She knew it was truly an angelic visit.
RESPONSE: Today I will be open to entertaining strangers realizing that God may be in the relationship.
PRAYER: Thank You Lord for the way You work. Help me be an active participant in Your plans.
Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.