Abraham and Sarah first appear in Genesis 12, and significant encounters with the Holy take place in nearly every following chapter. In our reading the Lord appears as three visitors in the middle of the day. Though the text alternates between the Divine as singular and plural, the visit necessitates an immediate, humble, and gracious welcome, and more than “a little bread” of hospitality; a wondrous and generous spread in true Middle Eastern fashion.

I have heard of a spirituality program called “Shade and Fresh Water,” a reference to the simplest of gifts that are often offered in hospitality in many parts of the world. Hospitality is a key element in thriving churches and a constant topic in books and seminars. The message seems clear—hospitality is the hallmark of followers of Jesus. Yet too often, hospitality focuses on who is bringing snacks for fellowship hour.

Are we not called to a more radical hospitality, an offering of welcome to the stranger, the foreigner, the neighbor who may not grace the doors of a church? Can we keep in mind that the Holy One often appears when we least expect a visit, in the hottest part of the day, in the middle of a phone call, or even on Sunday morning disguised in the ordinary?

Many who read this passage will have in mind the image by Russian iconographer Andrei Rublev called The Trinity. It is an amazing representation of the three visitors at a table sharing one cup and pointing to the Holy as mutual relationship.

How do you see yourself in mutual relationship with the Divine as you extend hospitality to all whom you encounter?

Holy One, give us more than open doors and a few cookies on a table. Give us open minds so that we are curious. Give us open hands so that we may serve our neighbors. Give us open eyes so that we may see you in all people, including ourselves. Give us open hearts so we may receive all as a gift. Amen.

Pray the Scriptures Using Audio Lectio
Read Matthew 9:35-38 , Read Matthew 10:1-23

0 Comments
Log In to leave a comment
Lectionary Week
June 8–14, 2020
Scripture Overview

The readings this week lack a common theme. Genesis recounts the promise of Isaac’s miraculous birth and the fulfillment of that promise—a key story in the history of God’s people. The psalmist cries out with gladness to the Lord, for we are God’s people and the grateful recipients of unending faithfulness. Paul rejoices because we have peace with God through our faith in Jesus Christ. This is not because of anything we have done or could do; rather, God’s love sent Christ to die for us when we were distant from God. In Matthew, Jesus calls his disciples and declares that God’s harvest is vast, but there are not enough workers willing to go into the fields. It is a call for us to go as the disciples did.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

Read Genesis 18:1-15; 21:1-7. How does your faith invite you to laughter?
Read Psalm 100. How do you make a joyful noise to God? Consider trying a new practice of joyful praise.
Read Romans 5:1-8. How has God’s love for you prompted you to “the second movement of the symphony,” to share God’s love with others and all creation?
Read Matthew 9:35–10:23. How are you called to participate in Christ’s ministry of healing?

Respond by posting a prayer.

I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.” 

View a growing list of resources for the spiritual work of overcoming racism.