Genesis 18:3 (ESV)
And said, “O Lord, if I have found favor in your sight, do not pass by your servant.
I read a story about a woodworker. Caleb wasn’t looking for a mentor or a friend when he went to work for Joe. He simply wanted to learn about woodworking. But the relationship became much more than that. Instead of assigning tasks, Joe asked Caleb what he wanted to learn through this experience. That set off a years-long friendship that went much farther than simply working together. Joe and Caleb shared meals and books together. Joe introduced Caleb to the details of selling his house so that Caleb could learn. Joe also introduced Caleb to his friends. Joe invited Caleb into his life and included him in all kinds of ways.
Community is about more than just a surface relationship. It calls for hospitality, and that often means putting oneself in a place of risk and vulnerability to include others. It means inviting others into your space to include them in what is going on.
Abraham and Sarah invited three strangers to rest, wash up, and eat. It might not seem like much, but this is an example of inviting strangers into our space so that they are not strangers anymore. Abraham and Sarah gave of themselves in order to make the strangers feel welcome, and they were blessed in amazing ways.
The ways we make room for others in our community is important.
Dear Lord, help us to invite others into our community as we invest in each other. Help us to see and serve you in the strangers and in our community. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.