They drew near to the village to which they were going. He acted as if he were going farther, but they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent.” So he went in to stay with them.
Friday, Second Week of Easter
Dear God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we render to You our most humble and heart-felt thanks, that when Christ had descended into the grave, You did not allow Your Holy One to see corruption, but showed him the path of life, raised him from the dead, and set Him at Your right hand in the heavenly places. Grant us grace, we ask You, to apprehend with true faith the glorious mystery of our Savior’s Resurrection, and fill our hearts with joy and a lively hope, that amid all the sorrows, trials, temptations and troubles of this life, we may receive strength and comfort from You so that we may strengthen and comfort others with what you have given. Amen
The word hospitality derives from the Latin word “hospes” meaning “host”, “guest”, or “stranger”. By application the Latin word ‘Hospital’ means a guest-chamber, guest’s lodging, or an inn. From ancient times hospitality involves welcoming the stranger and offering him food, shelter, and safety. (Wikipedia)
Two thoughts emerge:
One. Who has been the one who has welcomed you? Is there a time in your life when you were down and out, or alone, or a stranger–feeling out of place, and someone reached out to you with a warm welcome and treated you as part of their family? Who was it? Can you picture their faces in your mind? Have you expressed your gratitude to them for doing this?
Two. Whom have you welcomed? Is there someone for which you have gone out of your way to care for, show love to, welcome into your family, and offer them true hospitality, maybe a warm embrace or a glass of milk with a fresh-baked chocolate chip cookie still gooey in the middle? Who was it? Can you picture their faces in your mind? Have you checked in with them lately?
The two disciples on the road to Emmaus never forgot the face of the stranger that they welcomed into their home that day. They thought they were offering hospitality to a stranger, but instead they welcomed their Lord and Savior who comforted them. I wonder, “Did Jesus enjoy his anonymity?” He was such a gentle soul. He didn’t force himself on them, didn’t ask or pry or insert himself. He “acted as if he were going farther.” Only at their warm welcome did he come in to stay.
It makes us think. How many times have we let a stranger walk away, brushing them off rather than offering them a warm welcome, or a “come and stay awhile.” Have we ever missed a cloaked Jesus hiding in plain sight?
What a surprise when Jesus reveals his true identity! A life-altering blessing was given to those disciples that day because they practiced kindness in offering hospitality to a “stranger.”
With this corona virus crisis, all the people in the world now have something in common. May God empower us to reach out with genuine care and concern to the stranger whom we find walking with us on the same road.
In the journey with Jesus,
Pastor Langdon Reinke
P.S. Hope you and your family are healthy and safe. We are in this together. We have help available if there are needs. Please let us know.