Abraham entertaining angels “unaware” was one of my favorite Bible stories as a child. The idea of being hospitable and accidentally entertaining angels, captured my imagination. Growing up, I can barely remember a meal when just our immediate family was dining at the table. It seemed we had a constant stream of people eating with us and even spending the night.
Modern society has almost killed hospitality. For a variety of reasons, it seems the only time people are in our homes is if we are throwing some sort of party or event. If you are introverted or a nervous hostess, formal events can seem so overwhelming, you probably never have people in your home at all.
I love the story of Abraham entertaining angels in the Bible. As a child, I was fascinated by the idea you could invite strangers into your home for a meal and find out they were angels. Unfortunately, entertaining is quickly becoming another casualty of our busy lives. Our children are not learning how to show hospitality to others. Having people in our homes is not necessarily high on our lists of things we attempt to accomplish as we pursue a Christian lifestyle. Hospitality to others is so important to God though, He makes the practice of it one of the qualifications for being an elder.
Children learn so much when they grow up in a family where hospitality is practiced regularly. They learn how to make “outsiders” to their family feel as if they are a part of the family. Hopefully, they begin to realize entertaining is not about how nice your home is or how good the food tastes, but it is about the interaction between the hosts and the guests. Practical skills are also learned. By entertaining, I have learned how to make a large group of very different people feel comfortable together, how to cook for a lot of people with little hassle and how to entertain with little or no money or space. (We had a full Thanksgiving one year in New York City for 15 people in 250 square feet!)