Brother Ron Barnes
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A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

                            Hospitality                                      

 

Dear Brother Ron

 

For my youth group we looked at Luke 19: 5-6 and we were asked what we had learned about using what we have, upscale or humble for gracious hospitality. I'm supposed to be prepared to talk for two minutes in response to this question but Iím not really sure what to say, or where to start. Do you have any ideas?

 

Polly Anna

 

Dear Polly Anna

 

When Jesus calls to us to receive Him, we must be ready and willing to welcome Him with full hospitality. We must also be aware that sometimes Jesus comes to us in forms which we may not recognize at first. Consider the following story:

 

Ruth went to her mail box and there was only one letter. She picked it up and looked at it before opening it, but then she looked at the envelope again. There was no stamp, no postmark, only her name and address. She read the letter:

Dear Ruth:

I'm going to be in your neighborhood Saturday afternoon and I would like to visit.

Love Always,
Jesus

Her hands were shaking as she placed the letter on the table. "Why would the Lord want to visit me? I'm nobody special. I don't have anything to offer. With that thought, Ruth remembered her empty kitchen cabinets. "Oh my goodness, I really don't have anything to offer. I'll have to run down to the store and buy something for dinner."

She reached for her purse and counted out it's contents. Five dollars and forty cents. "Well, I can get some bread and cold cuts, at least."

She threw on her coat and hurried out the door. A loaf of French bread, a half-pound of sliced turkey, and a carton of milk left Ruth with a grand total of twelve cents to last her until Monday. Nonetheless, she felt good as she headed home, her meager offerings tucked under her arm.

"Hey lady, can you help us, lady?"

Ruth had been so absorbed in her inner plans, she hadn't even noticed two figures huddled in the alleyway. A man and a woman, both of them dressed in little more than rags. "Look lady, I ain't got a job and my wife and I have been living out here on the street, and, well, now it's getting cold and we're getting kind of hungry and, well if you could help us, lady, we'd really appreciate it."

Ruth looked at them both. They were dirty, they smelled bad and frankly, she was certain that they could get some kind of work if they really wanted to.


"Sir, I'd like to help you, but I'm a poor woman myself. All I have is a few cold cuts and some bread, and I'm having an important guest for dinner tonight and I was planning on serving that to Him."

"Yeah, well, okay lady, I understand. Thanks anyway." The man put his arm around the woman's shoulders, turned and he headed back into the alley. As she watched them leave, Ruth felt a familiar twinge in her heart.

"Sir, wait!" The couple stopped and turned as she ran down the alley after them. "Look, why don't you take this food. I'll figure out something else to serve my guest."

She handed the man her grocery bag. "Thank you, lady. Thank you very much!"

"Yes, thank you!" It was the man's wife, and Ruth could see now that she was shivering.

"You know, I've got another coat at home. Here, why don't you take this one." Ruth unbuttoned her jacket and slipped it over the woman's shoulders. Then smiling, she turned and walked back to the street without her coat and with nothing to serve her guest.

"Thank you, lady! Thank you very much!"

Ruth was chilled by the time she reached her front door, and worried too. The Lord was coming to visit and she didn't have anything to offer Him. She fumbled through her purse for the door key. But as she did, she noticed another envelope in her mailbox. "That's odd. The mailman doesn't usually come twice in one day."

She took the envelope out of the box and opened it.

Dear Ruth:

It was so good to see you again. Thank you for the lovely meal. And thank you, too, for the beautiful coat.

Love Always,
Jesus

The air was still cold, but even without her coat, Ruth no longer noticed.

 

Let me close by quoting Matthew 25:40-And the King shall answer and say unto them, "Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."

 

You might also check Mark 12:42-43.

 

Hope this helps.


Best always
Brother Ron