Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A Thought for Tuesday 8/27/13

“It came to pass as Jesus sat at the table with [the disciples] that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them.  Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him, and He vanished from their sight.”  Luke 24:30-31

Recall that this incident took place after two disciples were walking along the road to Emmaus and had been joined by the Resurrected Messiah.  While they were talking and recounting the experiences of the past few days, they did not realize it was the Messiah who had joined them on the road – and they were talking about Him!  Nevertheless, even though the disciples considered Jesus a “stranger” at that moment, they invited Him to come stay with them since the end of the day was drawing near.

The encounter is a significant one for many reasons, but what happened afterward is key to understanding the importance of the hospitality of the Church.  That “their eyes were opened” when they finally recognized Messiah is attributed to their willingness to show hospitality to a “stranger”.  Had they treated Messiah as we have been conditioned to treat a “stranger” today, it is unlikely their eyes would ever have been “opened” because that epiphany is directly related to how we choose to treat one another – especially those we don’t even know.

Because our culture has completely lost its mind, we are understandably leery when it comes to strangers.  It is much safer to keep strangers at a safe distance for the sake and well-being of our loved ones until these strangers prove themselves trustworthy.  Yet the Scriptures remind us “not to forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels” (Hebrews 13:2).  This goes far beyond having a simple “welcoming committee” greet guests in church as they are handed a bulletin and virtually pushed into the sanctuary; it goes to the heart and soul of the truly welcoming church which reveals itself once the “stranger” comes to us as we remember we were “once strangers in a strange land”.



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