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Signposts: Daily Devotions

Written by Renée Miller

Friday, September 4

Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.
—Hebrews 13:2

Hospitality is more than simply providing food and drink to someone who shows up unexpectedly at our door. It is certainly more than entertaining the friends we have invited over for dinner on Saturday night. Hospitality is a condition of the heart. It is the way we bring our heart into the affairs of daily life.

In the Rule of St. Benedict, hospitality is extended to all—to strangers, to the poor, to seekers and travelers—all, says Benedict, are to be received as Christ. When we receive every person in our lives as if they were Christ, we have made our heart an open room. A room furnished with sumptuous couches, beautiful art, surround-sound audio, lush carpets, and soft welcoming lighting.  The beauty and comfort of the room of our heart creates a space of peace. Those who enter find the struggles of their own souls gathered and held. 

When our heart has reached this level of hospitality, those who step across the threshold will always be Christ to us. Imagine the marvels such hospitality would give us. We would see the imprint of God on every person who found their way in. We would experience wonder in the presence of all those whom we met. We would learn things we had never even thought possible.

We would hear stories that took us to new lands. We would know the joy of sharing, and the warmth of gratitude. Surely, in the end, our own soul would be as richly fed as the traveler who stepped hopefully into the harbor of our heart.

Gracious God, give me the courage to open the room of my heart and find you walking into it.