Hebrews 13:2 (NRSV)
2 Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.
When I think of hospitality, I think of my dear childhood neighbor, Ila. She was a quiet, grandmotherly type who always had a bowl of delicious hard candies ready for us; sweet treats that made us smile! Her porch was enclosed with windows, and the sunlight warmed us as we read a variety of children’s books. I never felt I was intruding, but could pass the time contentedly. Hospitality is a wonderful demonstration of love for others.
Our Bible passage instructs us to show hospitality to strangers. But let’s consider “strangers” in a new way for today’s Lenten discipline of hospitality. When is the last time you welcomed Jesus into your presence? When is the last time you shared with and listened to him? Has it been so long that Jesus may feel like a stranger to you? Or maybe you have even been so busy or preoccupied that YOU feel like a stranger to you! It’s time to reunite two dear companions: Jesus and you.
Today, let’s invite Jesus into our hearts and thoughts, to spend time together sharing and listening. Let’s simply enjoy our mutual companionship as we go through our day together.
The tea bag will remind us to do those things that we would do for any guests- invite Jesus in, perhaps apologize for not being completely ready or prepared, encourage him to make himself comfortable, ask how we may best serve him, and then enjoy our time together, talking and listening. If you have time- and would enjoy doing so- you could even have a tea party or coffee time with a place set for Jesus!
Today I want to spend time together, just you and I. I know you are always with me, but today I want to be more aware of your presence. Please forgive what I lack, but make yourself comfortable- let me know what you need! I have so much to tell you. What do you want to tell me? I’m listening. Thank you for your loving companionship, today and always. Come on in. Amen.