In the past 20 years, my parents have been blessed to have two dream homes. The first was in Ohio where my father was promoted to a leadership position at his company’s corporate headquarters. Upon retiring, my folks were able to build one from scratch across from the Indian River Bay. Over the past 20 years, my parents have shared the comforts of home with my family and their grandchildren.
Do not forget or neglect or refuse to extend hospitality to strangers [in the brotherhood—being friendly, cordial, and gracious, sharing the comforts of your home and doing your part generously], for through it some have entertained angels without knowing it, Hebrews 13:2.
The author of Hebrews refers to a similar form of hospitality. Since first century churches didn’t have a physical building like today, members would open their homes as a weekly gathering place. Apparently, shy and quiet individuals began to feel left out, not welcomed like the more outgoing. This shortcoming is pointed out in the passage above with a call to share the comforts of your home with believers.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of sympathy (pity and mercy) and the God [Who is the Source] of every comfort (consolation and encouragement), 4 Who comforts (consoles and encourages) us in every trouble (calamity and affliction), so that we may also be able to comfort (console and encourage) those who are in any kind of trouble or distress, with the comfort (consolation and encouragement) with which we ourselves are comforted (consoled and encouraged) by God, 2 Corinthians 1:3-4.
The apostle Paul alludes to another element of hospitality. As people endure troubling times, everyone reacts a little differently. Some withdraw due to depression, others become sarcastic and people like me become comfortably numb. When reaching out to hurting people, you don’t have to beat out what’s inside. Rather, share the comforts of home and when the timing is right, the hurting will bear their souls to you when they are ready. Until then, keep consoling and encouraging anyone who is crushed in spirit.
by Jay Mankus