18 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. 8 He then brought some curds and milk and the calf that had been prepared, and set these before them. While they ate, he stood near them under a tree.
What amazing hospitality Abraham shows his guests. It says he was resting in the shade in the heat of the day, but after the guests arrive he is on a mission. The word ‘hurried’ is used three times, as well as ‘quick’ and ‘he ran to’. Abraham treats the needs of his guests as an urgent priority and so communicates to these guests that they are supremely important. He serves the guests his best – bread from the finest flour, curds and milk (at that time much more generous and desirable than water) and freshly cooked meat.
Am I hospitable like Abraham? Am I prepared to be interrupted, to be uncomfortable and give my best to others? Do I see it as an incredible opportunity to serve others? Do I catch Abraham’s sense of urgency and excitement? Do I employ my thinking and resources to ensure the comfort and refreshment of others?
God, please help me to be like Abraham. Help me to see the opportunity to serve and show hospitality as a privilege. Where I have underestimated the significance of caring for people’s needs please lift up my eyes again. Abraham was serving God and he did not know it, but may I serve people knowing that as I love others I am serving and loving you. Amen.
Written by Ps. Bethany Waugh