By Toni Ford
As we enter the holiday season, the Thanksgiving holiday has become my favorite of them all. Not only is this is a season to give thanks and to reflect upon all that we have to be grateful for, but it is also a time, more so than any other time in the year, when we welcome others in our homes and look for ways to give to others who might be in their own season of need. While reading in the 13th chapter of Hebrews, I was reminded once again of the importance of my actions towards others, believers as well as unbelievers, to those in need and those who are hurting. There are three words that stand out in first few verses of Hebrews 13 which I believe serve as good reminders for us this holiday season.
Hebrews 13:1-3 says, “Keep on loving each other as brothers and sisters. Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it! Remember those in prison, as if you were there yourself. Remember those being mistreated, as if you felt their pain in your own bodies.” The three words are love, show and remember.
Love. Hebrews is a letter written to believers who were being persecuted for their faith and had a hard struggle and endured much suffering. Publicly, they were mocked and injured and had their property confiscated, but during all this, they never abandoned one another. When times are hard, the easiest thing to do is hide or draw into yourself and forget about your brothers and sisters who are suffering. The writer is reminding us to keep loving one another, in good times and hard times, and never give up on one another.
Show. If brotherly love remains, then hospitality and serving one another will not be forgotten and it becomes an overflow of our love for each other. However, if brotherly love disappears, then so will the tangible display of that love. The author of Hebrews is not only encouraging us to show hospitality to those we know, but to strangers as well. The author goes on to say, “for some have entertained angels without realizing it!” Although we should not expect every stranger to be an angel, we can be assured that we serve Christ by serving others.
Remember. The last part of those verses reminds us to remember those in prison and those being mistreated. Many believers during this time were being mistreated and thrown in prison as a result of their faith in Christ. The temptation is to get so caught up in our own lives and busy schedules that we forget about others who are hurting, in pain or great need. I was challenged by this verse to ask myself, “Who do I need to remember this holiday season, and what does remembering look like for me?” If we ask that question, the Lord is faithful to show us someone or several people who we need to remember – in prayer, with a text, a phone call, a card or a gift of some kind.
I challenge each of us to love, show and remember to those around us. Just think of how much good we can accomplish together when we put these words into action!
Dear Lord, thank you for being the perfect example of each of these words. Thank you for this season, and please make us mindful of those around us and even those far away. Thank you for all of our many blessings, and may we never become complacent with life. We love you!
If you would like me to join you in prayer please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to pray for you!