Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it. - Hebrews 13:2
This coming Sunday being the first Sunday of Advent, we’ll be reading scripture from Mark that again speaks of our need to be alert and awake to things happening around us. Only in being so can we be properly prepared; which is literally what the meaning of the Advent season is all about: preparation.
Jesus would have us living in a state of perpetual preparedness, because at any moment in any situation we may be in a moment of facing God. This passage from Hebrews articulates the same sentiment in the example of hospitality.
Funny enough, we read that yesterday in the Last Judgement of the Sheep And The Goats. One of the attributes that those deemed righteous showed was Hospitality and welcoming the stranger. He says that when we offer that to the least of those who are part of his family, we do it to him. Hebrews also states that when we welcome the stranger, we have entertained angels without even knowing it.
What happens when we don’t? Remember the beginning “Beauty And The Beast?” The prince is cursed into his beastly form because he didn’t offer hospitality to the old woman at his door (who just happened to be an enchantress). She was disguised on purpose to see if he’d do the right thing. He didn’t, so he’s transformed into the ugliness that lived within him. She was the angel at his doorstep that he couldn’t recognize and he paid for it.
Whenever we extend our compassion to someone we don’t know, whether at our door or otherwise, we might do well to consider that we’re entertaining angels. How might that change the way in which we offer ourselves in service?
God In All Things, remind us that we encounter you at all times in all places, and we should respond in like turn.