Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. (NIV)
In a time of swirling holiday activity and great interaction with friends and family, we have to remain vigilant about our sense of hospitality to others; we must gauge how we treat others. During the Christmas season, we often try to focus on goodwill toward others. While we believe our intentions for generosity are being practiced, sometimes we get too busy to fully carry out our plans. With bills mounting and activities and responsibilities increasing, sometimes we have a tendency to become so overwhelmed, busy, and pessimistic that we don’t notice the needs of others.
Even when we are out tending to our own responsibilities, we still have to remember others. While we shop, run errands, and try to keep our own heads above water, we need to remember that in this season of great rejoicing there are often a lot of lonely people who have no one to celebrate with. While it is not always easy to identify opportunities for outreach, if we simply adopt the routine of continuously reaching out to others, we will find those who need help, and we will find ourselves capable of offering that assistance when needed.
In order to be able to tend to yourself and others, we need to live strong. When we show support for others, reaching beyond our own families into our communities where people are in need of a kind word, reassurance, or support, we are shaping our own priorities in life to include a responsibility to others. In our hearts, we will know that by tending to another’s needs, we are doing the work of God. With feelings of fellowship and hospitality close, tending to others can become second nature to us, setting an example for our families, members of the church, impressionable children, and people who need to learn how to be more charitable with their time and feelings. In this season of giving and hope, we need to make sure that we share the light that Jesus brings to this world and God’s message of Christmas joy.