Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
During this strange time of the corona virus where fear and distancing prevail we must not forget the mandate of scripture. Followers of Christ are those who extend themselves and their homes to strangers. Our existence is not tied to our physical well being. These bodies are simply tents that will fade and pass away. We aren’t called to serve our earthly dwellings but those who dwell among us. In times of distress, panic and fear is when our faithfulness to Christ is tested. The call to hospitality has never been more relevant.
The follower of Christ simply cannot isolate. Jesus didn’t even in the face of a dangerously communicable disease like leprosy. He didn’t withdraw from the sick and the fearful. He went to them and drew them to Himself. He called the outcasts to fill the seats at his dinner table when the rich and busy just couldn’t make it. Many of His servants followed in His steps and went to those whom the world had isolated. They stood in the face of the disease and ministered. They did not cower in fear. Their faith sustained them. Take the time to read about these heroes of the faith like Joseph de Veuster, Father Damien, who gave his life for the leper colony on the Hawaiian island of Molokai. He did not isolate. He went to those who had been forcibly isolated. These were isolated for their own safety and the protection of others. Father Damien went to these strangers for their benefit and showed hospitality in a manner that strikes fear into the heart of many Christians today – even my own.
The apostle Paul, who endured much pain and suffering for the cause of Christ, calls us to be of good courage. We walk by faith not by sight. We have to get over ourselves, me included, and get on with caring for others and truly living a life of hospitality to strangers. This is what believers do. Believers walk in faith consistent with the truth of Scripture. It is risky. It isn’t safe. We are not called to ‘be safe’. We cannot be those who shrink back in fear. This world is not our home. We must be those who reach out in faith to those who need to know this One who can deliver ‘strangers’ from the death of this broken world into life eternal.
Pray for the healing power of Jesus to continue to move in this world. No virus can stop the gracious hand of God. We cannot allow it to stop His earthbound church. Be the one through whom His Spirit moves to bring hope to the hopeless and healing to the broken. There is no magic formula or approach. It requires complete abandonment to Christ and I’m still not sure I even know what that looks like in my own life. Show hospitality to strangers in these days of trouble. You may just find yourself in the presence of angels.