August 07, 2018

Love’s Generous Expression

Hebrews 13:1-3

Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.

—  Hebrews 13:2

What an interesting idea! By showing kindness to strangers, you could be showing kindness to a messenger of God. Buying an extra burger to share with a homeless person, helping someone change a flat tire on their car, offering a ride to a colleague who needs one—in these ways and more, God often gives us opportunities to show hospitality and compassion for someone who has a need.

As I encounter people who are not part of a faith community, it saddens me when they describe Christians as less-than-compassionate people. Words I often hear in these conversations are that Christians are judgmental and condescending. Many people see church buildings in their communities as little more than clubs or political action organizations. They hear church people speak out mostly about what the members oppose.

The world needs to see Christians as people of compassion—good-news people who act like Jesus. That will happen when we nurture a habit of practicing compassion.

It is not by accident that the writer of Hebrews urges readers to love each other and to look out for the needs of strangers. It’s easy to overlook the unusual or the unfamiliar. It takes the love of Christ to reach out to the stranger who might just bring a unique blessing that you never saw coming.

Lord Jesus, open my eyes today to see the strangers around me. Show me how to receive them as one of your gifts today. Amen.

About the author — Lloyd Wicker

Lloyd Wicker has been a pastor for more than eighteen years and has served churches in Illinois, Washington, and California. He currently serves as a chaplain with the United States Navy in Sicily. Lloyd and his wife, Heidi, have three children.

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