Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.
(Hebrews 13:2 NRSV)

We are reminded that this is the season when we prepare our hearts to celebrate that occasion when God came down to win our love. Isaiah the prophet had written of a day when the peoples of the earth would say, "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord..." That mountain, though, proved too high for a self-centered humanity to climb. So, when we could not climb up to God, God came down to us. Jesus comes to us once again in this Christmas season. Are we ready?

USA TODAY ran a story sometime ago about John Barrier, a man who didn't like the way a bank manager in Spokane, Washington, looked at him. John was wearing construction clothes and got a look as if he had crawled out from under a rock.

The problem began when Barrier went to Old National Bank to cash a $100 check. When he tried to get his parking slip validated to save 60 cents, a receptionist refused, saying he hadn't conducted a transaction. "You have to make a deposit," she told him. When told he was a substantial depositor, she looked at him as if... so what.

He asked to see the manager, who also refused to stamp the ticket. Barrier went to the bank headquarters vowing to withdraw his $2 million-plus unless the manager apologized. No one called. So the next day, he withdrew his money.

Hebrews says, "Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it." Hopefully, this Christmas season will remind us of the importance of kindness and respect, because we never know when Jesus will come knocking on our door.


Dear God, help me to show your love and kindness to everyone. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Ron Newhouse

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