Hebrews 13:1-2 Let love of the brethren continue. 2 Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.
Last Sunday night we had a great time as a church giving thanks to God for his many blessings over the past year. A constant refrain of thanks was for the caring relationships in our lives. A few couples, who have been married for over 50 years, expressed thanks for one another. Others thanked God for the close Christian friendships fostered at Calvary over the years. Having brothers and sisters who genuinely care for us with Christ’s love is a precious and imperishable gift. This is the “meat and potatoes” of live in the local church. Ephesians 5:1-2 calls us to “walk in love” just as Christ loved us. In Colossians 2:2, Paul longs for the church to “be knit together in love”. The Thessalonians loved Paul – thought “kindly of him and longed to see him” (1 Thess. 3:6). Peter calls us to “fervently love one another from the heart” (1 Peter 1:22). This is an inevitable fruit produced in us by the Spirit’s rebirth (1 John 4:7).
Here in Hebrews 13:1, the writer exhorts us, “Let love of the brethren continue.” COVID-19 has put an extra strain on this over the last couple years. Believers are distanced physically and often by their different responses and convictions. A wise elderly pastor said to me last year, “It is like we are afraid of one another rather than loving one another.” I think, in some ways, he was right. Into the crazy holiday season, I would like to encourage us to “Let love of the brethren continue.” Give by investing in your relationships with one another.
Verse 2, encourages us to extend that love beyond our normal social bounds. “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers” is the command. But attached is the promise about “entertaining angels.” The principle is that we often don’t know who we’re serving, or what God can do through our hospitable acts of love. In light of that, I encourage you to be in prayer for God to use many in our church family in a special way in others’ lives. The busy-ness will be there, the stress and strain will too, but above that are God’s purposes in the earth to reach people with His indescribable gift! We certainly want to be a part of that!
Thanks! See you Sunday,