Meditation on Hebrews 13.2 - Angels

Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.


The scripture reference clearly reveals the intended audience - 'the Hebrews' - that's who the writer was writing to.  But what if you're not a Hebrew?  What if you're an angel?  Not literal wings and harps, but as in 'the better angels of your nature.'  I believe we all have them.  If you don't, fine.  But if you do, then it's interesting what happens if you're willing to play with the text...the verse could read thus: Do not neglect to receive hospitality from strangers, for by doing that you can live quite an entertaining life.

Early this week, I was with a group of complete strangers.  There is a common link/person between the group and me, but said link was missing so I was among people I'd never met before. Strangers.  The group had set meetings, sorta closed-door sessions, I knew that going in.  But as for the inbetweens - meals, breaks, downtime - they invited me in, to be with them, hang out, talk, visit, eat, drink, be merry. I felt maybe one or two times would be sufficient for the purposes of my trip, but these strangers just kept extending hospitality to me, over and over and over again.  This phrase kept popping up: Oh, we certainly hope you'll join us, please, please do come.  For two and half days, I was the recipient of spring-fed-mountain-brewed-grace.  Forget living like a king, I experienced the rush of angels.

If you have the opportunity to extend, by all means do.  But if, from time to time, you're invited to receive, fiercely forget the humble-bumble oh, that's o.k., ya'll go ahead.  Spread your wings. Say yes. And afterwards thank you.



  1. Thanks, John, for the reminder that hospitality works both ways. Miss you guys...

  2. On an occasion when I had protested too much, a friend gently told me, "Susan, God has given you two hands. One with which to give, and one with which to receive."

    Wise words.

  3. Love this. We're often reminded about the giving end of life but being able to receive from people can be even more of a blessing to others.

  4. I've been on the receiving end, too. Remember when you and JB invited me to dinner in Santa Fe? Saying yes made all the difference. Amen.

  5. There is a Turkish saying: "Every guest is a gift from god." Who are WE to deny a "gift?"