Hebrews 13:1-2 (NIV)
1 Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. 2 Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.
She walked slowly into the beautiful church. She had dressed in her best dress and her favorite hat. A slight smile touched her lips. She was in God’s house, and she was so happy. She had no idea that her coat smelled of moth balls and the hat was stained.
Heads turned toward her and whispers were going strong in the congregation.
Tilley put her head down and walked to a pew to sit down. When she sat down, a couple got up and moved. It was as if everyone in the place was looking at her. How she wished Sharon would hurry up.
Sharon walked into the church with a warm smile that soon faded. She saw Tilley sitting alone in a pew with tears rolling down her cheeks. Sharon sat down and put her arm around Tilley and held her close.
She whispered to Tilley, “We can leave if you want. We don’t need to stay here.”
Tilley shook her head. She had dressed up and come to church and she was going to stay.
By now the pastor noticed the stir in the church and looked around. He soon became well aware of what was going on. He walked to the back of the church to welcome both Tilley and Sharon.
He leaned over and asked Tilley, “Would you ladies do me the honor of sitting in the front pew with me?”
A shine entered into Tilley’s eyes and she nodded.
The music had started and it was just beautiful. Tilley was now so glad she had stayed.
After the music stopped, Sharon leaned over to ask the Pastor a question.
He smiled and said, “Please do.”
Sharon stood in front of the church and squared her shoulders. “Today is a very special day for Tilley, it is her birthday and she is 90 years young. All she wanted for her birthday was to go to church. We picked this one out for it is lovely. I want to personally thank each of you for your kindness.”
One could have heard a pin drop.
The Pastor stood and walked to the pulpit. He looked over the congregation and said, “I had a sermon all ready for today but I do believe I need to change it. Today we need to go to Hebrews 13:1&2.
He read the Scripture loud and clear. Once again he looked at the congregation and said, “I hope each and every one of you go home and think on not only this Scripture but how Christ-like you acted today. May God go with you all.”
Sharon and Tilley stood to leave and he walked over to them and gave each of them a hug. “Tilley, I pray that you have a blessed birthday and I so thank you for coming here and sharing your day with us. I also thank you for showing all of us a hard lesson, one we needed to learn.
Dear Lord, we pray that our hearts would be open to those around us that need to feel loved. Help us be willing to show love to everyone. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.