Sabrina Gissendanner

My parents were the gracious hosts in our family. They knew how to make people feel welcome and comfortable in their home. Mom loved to cook so there was always plenty of good food to share. I believe the Lord refreshed many hearts as my parents broke bread with various people they hosted through the years. Hebrews 13:1-2 says, “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.” Surely my parents must have entertained angels unaware. As I studied Luke 24:13-35, I focused on the word hospitality. The episode on the road to Emmaus contains a great example of hospitality. At first glance, we might find it humorous that the two disciples would try to update Jesus on the latest news, “Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened these past days?” they asked (Luke 24:18). Can’t you imagine Cleopas adding, “Where have you been!?” If this were all there was to the story, we might learn nothing more than we are often foolish, slow to learn, and even slower to believe. But the disciples do one thing right in the story, something so apparently insightful it would be easy for most of us to miss. They offer hospitality to Jesus. They say, “Stay with us because it is almost evening and the day is nearly over” (Luke 24:29). Jesus blesses that small act of hospitality with the revelation of His presence. In the breaking of bread, they finally recognize Him (Luke 24:32). When we offer hospitality, God uses it as a means to serve those in need of refreshment, and an invitation for us to experience the presence of Jesus ourselves.