Visiting with kind and hospitable people is an absolute joy.
While in Russia in the early 1990s, our small group experienced just how wonderful the Russian people were. As we knocked on doors asking people to study the Bible with us, many of them welcomed us into their homes. They also fed us and gave us tea (the national drink).
On my first evening in Russia, we were jet-lagged and sick. But, we had a dinner to attend and we went. The wonderful woman who hosted us that evening, Albina, was a member of the Lord’s church in the city of Vyatsky Polyany, about 700 miles east of Moscow.
She spread before us an unforgettable feast. Every course was meat — from beginning to end — with a meat salad, beef, and fish. To me, the meal was huge and tasted very good (except for the fish). But, there was more here than met my untrained and inexperienced eyes. Most people in Russia are poor. In fact, they are very poor. Albina was a teacher who hadn’t been paid in weeks and her husband hadn’t been paid for his work, either.
When I realized how much Albina had sacrificed to feed us all more than a month’s worth of meat (they only had meat about once a week), I cried. Why? Because I came to understand how much she loved the Lord and people she had never met before.
The Jews were strictly commanded to take care of strangers by lodging them in their homes. Every evening, strangers to a community would go into the center of a town or city and wait for those who needed lodging. If the commandment of the Lord was met by the people of that town, no one would be homeless.
Today, we are taught from youth to fear strangers and to treat them with suspicion. Why? We are taught this because of a perceived threat of people we don’t know.
There is a flood of homeless people in every city of America every night. They will spend the night in the cold without the comforts of a roof, heat, air conditioning or food. Few will meet them at the town center and conduct them to safety. Only few, if any, will take them home and feed them. Some think they actually deserve homelessness.
Our Lord Jesus is the epitome of hospitality. He called, and continues to call to everyone, “Come to me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30 NASB).
Many more people are spiritually homeless because they have stayed away from the Master’s call. Are you one of them? If so, then why not go home with Jesus by obeying the gospel? Why not accept the kind invitation from the son of God who loves you and gave himself for you?
Don’t spend another night in spiritual cold and hunger. Go with Jesus, now.