“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers.” So we’re told in today’s Letter to the Hebrews 13:1-8, 15-16. So let me ask you, how’s that working for you these days? What does hospitality mean and look like for you…
I don’t know if we were entertaining an angel that day, but I do know that she was a stranger. She was not a stranger in the sense that she was unknown and unfamiliar to me. I had dealt with her before. She was, however, a stranger in the sense that she was different from me and the others in the class. Her look, smell, and way of life were strange to us. I said to her Holall the right things, at least out loud I did. But the ideas, thoughts, and conversation inside me were a bit different.
Today’s gospel (Luke 9:51-62) is a difficult one. It’s confrontational and it doesn’t leave much, if any, wiggle room. “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” We’re either looking toward the kingdom or we are not. We’re either responding to the call of life or we’re not. We’re either open to the coming future or we’re not.
Throughout our lives we find ourselves in circumstances or situations that are strange, new, incomprehensible. They’re beyond our previous experience and more often than not they leave us feeling estranged from ourselves, an alien in our own life. You know what that’s like, right?
I wonder if that’s exactly how Mary feels. I wonder if her leaving in haste is the outer expression of her inner estrangement. I wonder if her leaving home reflects that she is not yet at home in herself.