And one more thing: Prepare a guest room for me, because I hope to be restored to you in answer to your prayers. Philemon 22
Paul must have been on close terms with Philemon not only to have asked for a guest room at his house but also to have assumed that Philemon and his family would pray for Paul's liberation.
Hospitality in that day, when Christians often had to flee persecution, was both necessary and hazardous. Harboring hunted people exposed the host to the same treatment as his guests.
Hospitality is a declining virtue, partly because many of us live so much to ourselves, partly because many homes are not built for guests, and partly because motels and hotels are so convenient.
But hospitality takes forms other than putting up people in our home. It includes greeting visitors at church, welcoming newcomers to the neighborhood, inviting others to dinner even though they are not close associates.
Whatever form Christian hospitality takes, it gets its inspiration from our heavenly Father, who for the sake of Christ welcomes all penitent sinners. Our Lord Jesus assures us: "In My Father's house are many rooms.... I am going there to prepare a place for you"
PRAYER: Knowing that we serve You by serving those who need our love, we pray: Come, Lord Jesus, be our guest. Amen.
(Devotions from "The Abundant Life" copyright 1998, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time e-mailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.)