Hebrews 13:1-8, 15-16 (NRSV)
Chapter 13Let mutual love continue. Verse 2Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it. Verse 3Remember those who are in prison, as though you were in prison with them; those who are being tortured, as though you yourselves were being tortured. Verse 4Let marriage be held in honor by all, and let the marriage bed be kept undefiled; for God will judge fornicators and adulterers. Verse 5Keep your lives free from the love of money, and be content with what you have; for he has said, "I will never leave you or forsake you." Verse 6So we can say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can anyone do to me?" Verse 7Remember your leaders, those who spoke the word of God to you; consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. Verse 8Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Verse 15Through him, then, let us continually offer a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that confess his name. Verse 16Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.
“Remember those who are in prison, as though you were in prison with them.” The Scriptures frequently call us to do things we would rather not do. Often that word calls us to do what we consider not just unimaginable, but impossible. With those calls, however, come also a promise: “The Lord is my helper.”
One of the advantages of following a set of assigned or traditional readings—as these God Pause devotions regularly do—is that these challenging portions of Scripture are not skipped over or avoided. Now to my knowledge, I have yet to meet an angel, but is it too much to consider that these challenging portions of Scriptures might help, by the work of the Spirit, to shape us as “angels” for the sake of the neighbor?
May it be so, Lord!
Jesus, our Good Neighbor, may our lips and our lives be the fruit of your ministry in our world today; in your holy and precious Name. Amen.