Yahweh appeared to him at the Oak of Mamre while he was sitting by the entrance of the tent during the hottest part of the day. He looked up, and there he saw three men standing near him. As soon as he saw them he ran from the entrance of the tent to greet them, and bowed to the ground. ‘My lord,’ he said, ‘if I find favour with you, please do not pass your servant by. Let me have a little water brought, and you can wash your feet and have a rest under the tree. Let me fetch a little bread and you can refresh yourselves before going further, now that you have come in your servant’s direction.’ They replied, ‘Do as you say.’ Abraham hurried to the tent and said to Sarah, ‘Quick, knead three measures of best flour and make loaves.’ Then, running to the herd, Abraham took a fine and tender calf and gave it to the servant, who hurried to prepare it. Then taking curds, milk and the calf which had been prepared, he laid all before them, and they ate while he remained standing near them under the tree. ‘Where is your wife Sarah?’ they asked him. ‘She is in the tent,’ he replied. Then his guest said, ‘I shall come back to you next year, and then your wife Sarah will have a son.’ Sarah was listening at the entrance of the tent behind him.
At the core of this story from Genesis is God telling Abraham the news of Sarah’s impending pregnancy and birth of a son. What surrounds that core story is the beautiful message of Abraham’s hospitality to the visitors. Abraham bent over backward to make sure every need of the strangers is not only provided, but provided with the best he and Sarah are able to provide.
Hospitality starts with a concern for others. A concern born of the realization we are all part of something bigger than our individual selves. We recognize the needs of others and work to fulfill those needs the best way we can. A hospitable approach toward life begins with a realization that we are part of the whole and not the whole part.
This is important. It may seem like a no-brainer, but look at the world today. The world feels as though it has been turned upside down. Things feel wrong in the world. I don’t see the problem as being a political issue; I see it as an individual issue. We appear to have adopted the philosophy we are more important as individuals than as a whole collective of peoples. We place our individuality above the well-being of the whole.
We, as a people, have become inhospitable.
Religions across the globe have some shared characteristics. One of those shared aspects is the idea there is something bigger than us that binds us together under our faith and belief systems to share a concern for others. Hospitality is universal.
To change the world we need to change ourselves. A good place to start is to think outside yourself. Develop a real concern for others and their needs.
Be hospitable. Be kind. Love one another as Jesus loves each of us. The love God gives us is not meant to be hoarded. It is meant to pass through our individual prisms and shine in a beautiful spectrum to all we come into contact with.
Make your world a better place by radiating God’s love to the world. Honor through service and hospitality.
Give the world your finest. Give it every day to everyone you meet.
Your may find your reward will be as great as Abraham’s and Sarah’s and the world a little bit brighter.