Our Wednesday evening service was over. In the congregation sat a woman and her daughter who had walked to church. From where they were staying to our building they walked approximately, five miles. In Colorado during the winter it gets cold and especially when the sun goes down. Following the service my wife and I agreed to give them a ride back to their place. But their place was their automobile. Ice covered. And the youngest daughter, who decided to stay and protect their vehicle, was bundled up, and cold. We brought this mom and two daughters into our home for the evening until I can get them to The Salvation Army and perhaps find shelter for them
I’m not writing this blog to make you think that we are some super hero. We aren’t. But the teaching from the Book of Philippians was all about having integrity. Something that the Body of Christ could use. One of the young people sitting in the main service wanted to know what integrity was. Amazing question. I simply told her that it being a person of your word. And, especially the word of God. Doing what Jesus said to do. That’s all. Paul, who wrote the Book of Philippians from a prison, is so full of joy he tells the church in Philippi to share together. So, that’s what my wife and I did for this mother and her two daughters.
Early this morning as I was soon to rise from a warm bed, inside my spirit man I heard these words, “I was a stranger and you took me in”. Even as I sit at my computer and type these words I am also reminded of the words that said, “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 NIV) Are these angels in my home this morning? I don’t think so. But, they are strangers. Jesus talked about feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, clothing the naked, visiting those in prison. He said those who fit into this category were called, “ the least”. The least, not because they did not have value, for they do, but those who could not pay you back. Who could not invite you into their home. Or, take you out to a fancy restaurant and buy your meal. And he said, when we did it unto them we were really doing it unto Him.
I’m not saying for you to open your home to everyone who comes along. That’s not wise. There are people who simply wish to use the system to their advantage. But, I am saying that, if we as the Body of Christ are going to say we believe the word of God, perhaps it is time we start to put it into practice. Of doing God’s word, instead of always speaking God’s word. The Pharisees of Jesus’ day were notorious for telling other people what to do, but they themselves would not even lift a finger to help. No wonder Jesus was infuriated with the religious crowd. Is it any wonder or marvel that He gave His most stinging rebuke to people who said one thing, but did another? This entire incident with this mother and her two grown daughters is teaching me a valuable lesson. Perhaps I have been too insensitive to the needs of other people. Maybe I have passed on the other side of the street in order to avoid contact with the wounded and the bleeding. Maybe I have had an inclusive attitude that the Holy Spirit is trying to change within me.
Years ago I was pastor of a congregation who, if you were not white, rich and good looking you did not fit it. That is the honest truth. There were good people in that church. But, the congregation had a country club mentality. I must remind everyone of us that the Body of Christ is not an exclusive club. It is time we stop acting like it is. Jesus said, “whosoever” could come. The little children’s song said, “Jesus love the little children, all the children of the world, red, yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight. Jesus loves the little children of the world”. He also said that unless we come as children we cannot enter into His kingdom.
Are these in my home angels? Again, I don’t know. But, they are children of the Kingdom. They deserve the right kind of respect for the glory of God!!!! Hopefully in our home they have felt and experienced not only the love of God, but Jesus Himself!!!!!!