Genesis 18:1-15 (NIV)

1 The LORD appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day. 2 Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he hurried from the entrance of his tent to meet them and bowed low to the ground.3 He said, “If I have found favor in your eyes, my lord, do not pass your servant by. 4 Let a little water be brought, and then you may all wash your feet and rest under this tree. 5 Let me get you something to eat, so you can be refreshed and then go on your way–now that you have come to your servant.” “Very well,” they answered, “do as you say.” 6 So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah. “Quick,” he said, “get three seahs of fine flour and knead it and bake some bread.”7 Then he ran to the herd and selected a choice, tender calf and gave it to a servant, who hurried to prepare it. 8 He then brought some curds and milk and the calf that had been prepared, and set these before them. While they ate, he stood near them under a tree. 9 “Where is your wife Sarah?” they asked him. “There, in the tent,” he said. 10 Then the LORD said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.” Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him. 11 Abraham and Sarah were already old and well advanced in years, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing.12 So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, “After I am worn out and my master is old, will I now have this pleasure?” 13 Then the LORD said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really have a child, now that I am old?’14 Is anything too hard for the LORD? I will return to you at the appointed time next year and Sarah will have a son.”15 Sarah was afraid, so she lied and said, “I did not laugh.” But he said, “Yes, you did laugh.”

Hebrews 13:2 (NRSV)

Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.

DEVOTION – Todd Outcalt (Indiana)

During my high-school years I did yard work for Mrs. Buzard, a wonderful woman who lived a life of much caring and kindness.  Often after I had worked all afternoon in the hot sun, she would bring me a tall glass of lemonade.  She also showered me with small gifts and homemade treats.  Her grace-filled hospitality shaped my life.

The Bible is replete with example of, and request for, hospitality.   We are commanded to show hospitality to the stranger in our land (Gen. 18:1-7), as well as to open our homes to those in need.  (See Rom. 12:13, Isa. 58:6-10, Heb. 13:2.)  By doing so we may discover that God has drawn especially near to us.

Actually, hospitality is at the center of the gospel.  The Bible tells us that God has come to us in Christ, received us as children, and given us all that we need.  Our faith in God’s love moves us to show this same hospitality to others.

Each day we can be thankful for the hospitable acts of others.  And as a response to God’s love coming to us though them, we can look for ways to show “hospitality and welcome” to each one we encounter.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Hospitality can express God’s love.

Link2Life: To see a piture of Mrs. Buzard, go to devotional.

PRAYER:  Welcoming God, thank you for sustaining us with your love and giving us all that we need. Help us to open our hands and our heart to others. Amen.

PRAYER FOCUS: Those Who Are Lonely