The Lord appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day. 2 Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he hurried from the entrance of his tent to meet them and bowed low to the ground.
3 He said, “If I have found favor in your eyes, my lord, do not pass your servant by. 4 Let a little water be brought, and then you may all wash your feet and rest under this tree. 5 Let me get you something to eat, so you can be refreshed and then go on your way—now that you have come to your servant.”
“Very well,” they answered, “do as you say.”
6 So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah. “Quick,” he said, “get three seahs of the finest flour and knead it and bake some bread.”
7 Then he ran to the herd and selected a choice, tender calf and gave it to a servant, who hurried to prepare it.
The Lord appeared to Abraham, but whom Abraham saw was three men. Abraham did not know them, but it was the heat of the day, and no one should be out in the elements at that time. We hear that Abraham hurried to meet them. He bid them take some rest under a tree, and have something to eat. Then Abraham hurried inside the tent to find Sarah and ask her bake some bread. He ran to find a calf, who hurried to prepare it for a meal. He was anxious to provide the best hospitality to these strangers.
Maybe you have had guests over during the holidays. You cleaned the house to prepare for them coming, and planned a nice meal. You bought gifts to share with them and were glad to welcome them into your home. What is impressive to me is that Abraham did not know these guests, yet he still hurried to care for them as best as he could.
We live in a different time and place from Abraham, but what if the Lord was coming to your house? Even if you didn’t see God in a form that you recognized, how would you hurry to give your best to the Lord? What would you do to demonstrate your welcome? But maybe that’s the point. We don’t know when the Lord will appear. We don’t know it is God knocking at our door. But when people enter our lives in some fashion, God wants us to treat them as if it were God himself standing on the welcome mat. Hurry to care for them as you would care for Almighty God.
Loving God, we may not see you in the eyes of those around us, but you are there. You discern our character in how we treat others. Maybe it’s a cashier in a low-paying job, or a neighbor down the street. Maybe it’s another driver, whether they are driving well or not. Teach us, Lord, to not only show respect for them, but to hurry to care for others as we would you, as if it was you we encountered. For this we ask in Christ’s name. Amen.