Daily reading: Luke 24: 13-35
Wednesday, April 26, 2017

In biblical tradition there is strong support and advocacy for the practice of hospitality.  The root of this concept of hospitality is for the stranger and not for people we already know.  We are called to love the stranger. 
Strangers throughout the Old Testament show God’s people God.  Abraham and Sarah encounter God through the three strangers they welcome into their tent.  Jacob encounters God through a stranger that he wrestles with all night long by the Jabbok River.  The exiled Israelites encounter God through the stranger Cyrus King of Persia who allows them to go home. 
Then in the New Testament, when Jesus answers the question “who is my neighbor,” he tells the story of a stranger helping a Jewish man out of a ditch on the road from Jerusalem to Jericho.  His neighbors, the priest and the Levite had walked by him leaving him for dead, but the Samaritan, the stranger, not only picked up him up and cleaned him off, he got him to a safe place and paid for his care. 
Within the Old Testament there are no fewer than 36 places that command us to love the stranger.  With such a strong element present in the Biblical witness you would think we would all be seeking for God’s presence in the stranger.  But we don’t, perhaps especially when we are thrown off track and trying to find our way.  Yet it is in those moments that God sends us someone to help.
Practice being mindful today.  Seek for the presence of God in the ordinary and extraordinary moments of your day.

Prayer: God, help me to seek you out today.  Nudge me to offer hospitality and may I be ever aware of your presence in stranger and in friend.  Amen.


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