Today I am inspired by Hebrews 13:1-2.
Keep on loving each other as brothers. Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.
I love to entertain. Entertaining for friends especially for special occasions is simple! It is so exciting to get out all the platters, linen napkins, themed decor and serve friends and family. Seeing people do the buffet dance around my kitchen table in my apartment as they reach for the prepared items makes my heart happy. At our holiday dinners in Chicago, my maternal grandpa always lead the line as the head of the family. After learning these verses in Hebrews, I can’t help but think about two reflective questions: 1) Who have I entertained? and 2) Who should I entertain?
It is easy to recall parties that I have hosted at my home. Close friends and family are always on the invite list. Serving others I’ve learned is one way that I show people love so many people often join us for dinner. One particular event that I observe is Pi Day, an offbeat holiday. Pi day was started in my grade school mathematics class. On March 13th (3.14) my math teachers would bring pie to share with the class and as you fondly remember any break in the daily lessons was amazing! The tradition still endures and last year I celebrated the biggest Pi Day ever! Pie was brought to work, eaten throughout the day which culminated in a pie-themed dinner celebration! This particular party brought together old and new friends allowing us girls to share this nonsense holiday together. Since that party, I have only interacted with 3 girls out of the 7 girls in attendance but I hope some connection was established.
The more challenging question is, who should I entertain? By definition, to entertain mean to extend hospitality towards. The first letter of Peter 4: 8-10 clearly provides us instruction.
Above all, love each other deeply because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each once should use whatever gift he or she has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in the various forms.
Offering hospitality to strangers on the city streets, as Jesus commands of us in the Gospels seems scary especially as a twenty-something especially with the headlines of woman disappearing and all the evil in the world. Jesus tells us,
But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will repaid at the resurrection of the righteous. Luke 14:13-14
We may extend a hand, a friendly smile or conversation with the forgotten in society. What good is it to serve at the local homeless shelter or food pantry if you never know who you are serving? Where have they come from and how did they arrive where they are? Do they know that God loves them and has a plan for them? Acknowledging others like the man selling the homeless paper on the street, the woman at the deli counter at the local grocery store, or even a stranger in the elevator is pleasing to them and to God. I love striking up conversation with perfect strangers and hearing how their day is because you can really see Jesus in them. And remember, you may be chatting with an angel.