Gen. 1:3 “My Lord, if now I have found favor in your sight , please do not pass your servant by.”
Luke 7: 44-46 “I entered your house: You gave me no water for my feet, no kiss of welcome, no oil of anointing for my head...”
In every culture there are practices of hospitality. Like here in Hawaii, out of respect, we take off our shoes before entering a home. The culture of old and new testament times shared certain practices to welcome guests. Throughout todays reading we SEE God coming to visit, and the different responses it created.
One thing has always grabed my attention about Abraham, it is his ready heart towards God. Apparently, Abraham had finished his morning work and was taking a break in the hot afternoon. Chapter 18:1 says he was sitting at the tent door in the heat of the day. O.K. so he was Lounging, but why at the front door? If Abraham had been inside the tent, not paying attention to what was going on around him, he would have missed a visit from God. Because he was positioned to SEE he was able to jump at the first sight of God’s presence. His hospitaity kicked in and he provided his guests with needed refreshment, water for their feet, shade for rest, and food to eat. In return for his hospitality he receives a promise from God.
In luke 7 we see a simular story where Jesus visits the home of a Pharisees. A women in town acquires knowledge that Jesus is just down the street at the home of a religious leader. As Jesus is lounging at the table, visiting with this guy, the women comes in uninvited. She begins to perfom the customary acts of hospitality for a guest not her own. Instead of rebuking her, Jesus rebuked his host for not offering the same kindness.
What is it about hospitality that brings the presence of God to our door? Nothing quite compares to authentic hospitality. The feeling of being truly welcome and accepted allows us to open our heart and share who we are without fear of rejection. In each of these stories God was the invited guest into someones home. For Abraham, his hospitality lead to a promise from God. For the Pharisee, his lack of hospitality lead to a rebuke. How do WE welcome God’s presence into our lives, with a warm greeting of hospitality, or a lack there of? What we receive from God is up to us. Let us watch for His presence with a ready heart, and open our lives to receive blessings,that only He can bring.
Your presence is always welcome in my home, how I prepare a place for you here is through a ready heart. A heart that receives from you can give to others, and all that I have is a gift from you! I open my heart to your voice daily, and I thank you for the increase of your presence into my life. I see what you are doing around me and it is astonishing to witness.Thank you for allowing me to share in your work, I could never do what I do without you. I can only offer you all that I am. For I am completley yours.