Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Entertaining Angels-8/16/2011

"Let love of the brethren continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it." Heb 13:1-2

Many people read this scripture and at least mentally (and temporarily) adjust their attitudes on the off chance that they might really be dealing with an angel. This is reminiscent of behaving extra well when we were children, particularly around Christmas time.

First let it be said that angels may indeed appear to individuals to this day as they did during biblical times. There is no prohibition in the bible against it. It must be said, however that the incidents of recorded angelic appearances number less than 40 in the approximately 6000 years of biblically recorded history. When they did appear, it was for a specific purpose charged by God, typically an announcement (as it was to Mary, Joseph and the shepherds regarding the birth of Christ), a warning (as was the posting of the cherubim at the Garden of Eden), or a punitive action (like those at Sodom and Gomorrah). In fact, it is the account at Sodom and Gomorrah to which this scripture alludes. Lot, did not know that he was entertaining angels, but extended them hospitality that would shock us today.

Beloved, this passage is not to remind us to be good in case angels show up, but to continually love one another and to be hospitable. God has given us every accommodation and the ability to provide for others. In order for us to truly experience what it is to be a family of God, we must be welcoming to one another in order to build fellowship. More importantly, when there is one who is in need, we should be as welcoming if not more. Our mission is to grow the borders of the kingdom.

Let it be said lastly that no one in the biblical accounts really wanted to see angels coming. They inspired quite a bit of fear. And very few people saw them more than once. You may indeed see an angel one day, but let not that remote possibility be the reason for you to treat your fellow human being well...unless of course that's what it takes.

Loving Like Jesus,


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