Crossroads: Entertaining Strangers

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Hebrews 13:1-8

Your Story

Have you ever helped someone you didn’t know? Or has someone come into your life at just the right time and it felt like they were sent from God? Pick one of these times to talk about with your family.

My Story and the Bible Story

Sixth grade was a hard year for me. I had a falling out with my best friends at school, and really felt like I didn’t have any friends anymore. Our church was going through some conflict as well, and I felt really alone. I leaned on God a lot in those times. And something amazing happened. A new girl transferred to our school, and all of a sudden, I had a friend again. Her name was also Jessica and she and I were inseparable. I had a friend just when I needed one. After that year, we went to different middle schools and I never saw her again. I’ve tried to find her and haven’t been able to. Sometimes I wonder if God sent me an angel in the form of a sixth grade stranger who was there for me just when I needed someone.

Read Hebrews 13:1-8. From the NIV: “Keep on loving each other as brothers. Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it. Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering. Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’ So we say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?’ Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”

God promises to never leave us or forsake us. God is always there for us. And I believe this verse is connected to entertaining angels, or strangers. Sometimes God sends us people when we need them. As in my story, God sends people who help us, people who pick us up and help us keep going. And those people are there for us while we need them, and many times they fade away after a while. But the point is that they were there to help us through. And sometimes, we get to be that person for others as well. God promises to never leave any of us. Sometimes we are the ones who need help, but other times it may be a stranger who needs our help. Sometimes we feel a nudge from God to help someone else. We may not understand it at the time, but God may use us to be God’s presence for others. Listen for God’s nudges. Pay attention and obey. And when you are having a hard time, be on the lookout for God’s angels, for God’s presence in the eyes of a stranger. God is all around us and always there for us. So be kind to strangers; you never know where you’ll find God’s presence next.

Discussion

• Ask your children if someone has ever come into their lives at just the right time (maybe it’s a Sunday school teacher or a teacher at school, or even a friend).
• Talk about what it means that God never leaves us and that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
• Talk about ways you can show hospitality (“entertain”) to strangers as a family.

Pray

Ask God to keep your eyes open to God’s presence. Ask for help in following God, particularly when it comes to helping others.

Jessica Asbell is currently serving as the Minister to Children at First Baptist Church of Roswell, GA. She has worked with children in various capacities at several churches, including Winter Park Baptist in Wilmington, NC, First Baptist of Decatur, GA, and Highland Hills Baptist in Macon, GA. She has a Master of Divinity from McAfee School of Theology and a BBA from Mercer University. In her spare time she loves to read, watch movies, and of course spend time with her sweet kitty, Lucy.

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