June 13, 2013

A Home Away From Home

2 Kings 4:8-17

“You have gone to all this trouble for us. Now what can be done for you?”
—2 Kings 4:13


Shunem was a small town. A wealthy woman who lived in the village offered her home to God’s prophet whenever he traveled through. Going far beyond the hospitality of offering a meal and bed, she had a special room built just for Elisha—a home away from home.

Elisha wanted to return the favor—but how? Offering to put a good word in for her with the king didn’t seem to impress her. “I have a home among my own people,” she replied.

Well, what then? In that time, no blessing was greater than to have a son, an heir. So Elisha, apparently hearing a word from the Lord, told her the good news that in about a year she would give birth to a son. And she became pregnant and had a boy the following year. A baby in return for a spare room—what a generous gift of God!

Opening a home to a stranger, feeding someone who needs a good meal, offering a place for a traveler to stay—simple acts of hospitality are never unrewarded when they are done in the name of Jesus.

God has welcomed us into his home. How could we do less than open our hearts to others who need a gracious space to rest, or recover, or find refuge? There are so many possible ways we can help others—and these might also provide opportunities to share the good news of Jesus with someone who may not know him.

Lord God, you have opened your heart to us and urged us to call it “home.” Help us to offer a heart of love to others looking for a place to call home. Amen.

About the author — Thea Leunk

Thea Nyhoff Leunk has been a high school English teacher, a director of Christian education, a pastor of discipleship, and a regional coach for the Christian Reformed Church in North America. She is currently the senior pastor at Eastern Avenue Christian Reformed Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Thea has also written courses for teens and young adults on world religions, Christian faith traditions, and science and the Bible. She and her husband have three adult children.

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