October 17, 2018
READ: Hebrews 13:1-15
Keep on loving each other as brothers and sisters. Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels (vv.1-2).
During a hard time for my family, tears came to my eyes when Alabama’s hit song “Angels Among Us” came on the radio. The song describes how, in our darkest times, when we feel lost and alone, God can use the kindness of others to give us just enough hope to keep hanging on, to keep believing in a God of love. As the words washed over me, I was reassured by remembering how in the hardest times God has always reached out to me through others’ love.
The lyrics allude to Hebrews 13:2’s promise that sometimes when we show kindness to strangers, we may actually be showing kindness to God’s angels. But the words also point to the way in which God works in our hearts through the love of other followers of Christ.
This fits with the emphasis of Hebrews 13. Although when we show hospitality to strangers, we might serve literal angels (v.2), the chapter doesn’t emphasise our hospitality to angels but the way in which God uses believers to care for others. When others are in prison, for example, we’re encouraged to feel their pain “as if . . . in [our] own bodies” (v.3). When we “do good and . . . share with those in need” (v.16), we’re told we’re following Jesus’ example of carrying the suffering of His people (vv.12-13). And Jesus even said that when we care for others in hard times, we’re actually serving Him (Matthew 25:34-36).
Sometimes during difficult days, it seems that on our own all we can feel is despair. But God never meant for us to be on our own. Instead, He’s put us in community with others made in His image. Through their tender touch, kind eyes and loving embrace, we can feel just a hint of God’s never-ending love for us. And we can pass this love on to others.
365-day plan: Acts 7:30-60
Read 1 Corinthians 12:12-26 and reflect on how the community of faith can share in each other’s pain and joy.
When have you experienced God’s love through the love of others? How might you touch others with His love this week?