2 Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.Hebrews 13:2 (NIV)
Six in the morning and birds are already lined up Perry’s Cafe-deep (a popular El Cajon breakfast house) at the bird feeders. Mourning doves – a feathered mafia – use their size and numbers to get first dibs at the seed my wife sets out. However, throughout the day the finches are not easily put off and consume the rest. Toward the end of the day butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds flit about the flowering shrubs and trees. It is very relaxing to sit on the patio watching them. I guess the hospitality we show the birds is just an extension of that we have been doing for several from our church fellowship. And then today in an after church lunch and TED talk for lay leaders, it seemed unusual for ministry staff to encourage us to practice hospitality. Yet this was an area of faith I only embraced after leaving the fifteen years of commuter/ over -work existence a few years ago. And then came a two-year COVID interruption. Still, being hospitable is a quality we should practice as Christ’s apprentices; it is mentioned no less than seven times in the New Testament. Recalling the first demonstration of hospitality in the Bible when Abraham showed hospitality to strangers who visited him and Sarah (Genesis 18), we learn that his guests were God’s messengers. While I do not believe birds are tiny angels, our bird feeders might well be fulfilling the promise that God feeds birds in the hot, dry San Diego summers (Matthew 6:26).