devozine

Spiritual Practice

Welcoming Strangers

Judith E. Smith

Scripture sets out a household rule to practice hospitality (Hebrews 13:2; Isaiah 58:6-9). For someone who loves to entertain friends as much as I do, this is a welcome rule — until I read the scriptures more carefully. The kind of hospitality God is calling for is not just about entertaining friends. It is about welcoming strangers and aliens. Not the ones we know, the comfortable ones, the ones who look like us. Saint Benedict said to his monks, “Let everyone be received as Christ.” This kind of hospitality is not so easy. . . .

Who are the strangers and aliens among us? What does it mean to welcome them, to give them space to be who they are, and to become ready to receive the gifts they bring?

 

—from “Welcoming Strangers” by Judith E. Smith, in Alive Now, May/June 2011. Copyright © 2011 by The Upper Room. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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