“The Lord appeared to Abraham by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat at the entrance of his tent in the heat of the day. 2He looked up and saw three men standing near him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent entrance to meet them, and bowed down to the ground. 3He said, “My lord, if I find favor with you, do not pass by your servant. 4Let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree. 5Let me bring a little bread, that you may refresh yourselves, and after that you may pass on—since you have come to your servant.” So they said, “Do as you have said.” 6And Abraham hastened into the tent to Sarah, and said, “Make ready quickly three measures of choice flour, knead it, and make cakes.” 7Abraham ran to the herd, and took a calf, tender and good, and gave it to the servant, who hastened to prepare it. 8Then he took curds and milk and the calf that he had prepared, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree while they ate.”
This story of hospitality of Abraham and Sarah, to who we know as the Lord, although Abraham and Sarah have yet to find out, is one of my favorite Bible stories. Yes, it follows with their announcement that Sarah will have a son, and her bold laughter but first, we get a descriptive scene of gathering around a meal. Abraham invites these visitors to rest, enjoy cakes or bread, lamb and curds, a fine feast prepared quickly. A meal indeed fit for angels or messengers of God. And when bellies are full, Abraham and Sarah receive the divine message from God and blessing. It is through this first meal together, this offer of hospitality, we understand the scriptural message of Hebrews 13:2, “do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” And so, continues many other miraculous stories of meals and miracles, food and faith, intertwined and interwoven in our Biblical narrative, let us feast together.
Ever Welcoming Lord, we hasten to set before you our choices meal and voice our deepest desire to accept your promises. May we too extend welcome and hospitality to strangers today but neighbors tomorrow, through the power of the Holy Spirit may miracles abound. Amen.