He lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing in front of him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed himself to the earth and said, “O Lord, if I have found favor in your sight, do not pass by your servant. Let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree, while I bring a morsel of bread, that you may refresh yourselves, and after that you may pass on— since you have come to your servant.” So they said, “Do as you have said.” And Abraham went quickly into the tent to Sarah and said, “Quick! Three seahs of fine flour! Knead it, and make cakes.” And Abraham ran to the herd and took a calf, tender and good, and gave it to a young man, who prepared it quickly. Then he took curds and milk and the calf that he had prepared, and set it before them. And he stood by them under the tree while they ate. (Genesis 18:2-8 ESV)
This is a classic example of hospitality to strangers. Abraham did not know these men. He had no reason to expect to see them again that they might repay him for his kindness. In fact, these men could have been dangerous thieves for all he knew. Nonetheless, he went out of his way to welcome them. And he did not merely give them what was leftover or easily on hand. He prepared a feast, selecting a calf, “tender and good”, for the guests.
It is a good lesson for us, to engage in such selfless act of hospitality. The writer of Hebrews explains, “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” (He 13:2) We do not often have opportunity to open our homes and prepare dinner for strangers, but certainly we encounter strangers everyday. It is hospitable to consider ways to serve them. Opening a door, asking how hey are, helping them carry a burden, taking their grocery cart back to the stall for them. There are all kinds of ways of showing hospitality. It may be that you win an opportunity to share Christ. You’ve already shared his love.
Lord, thank you for showing such gracious hospitality to me! Would you open my eyes to see ways that I can reach out and do the same with strangers.