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1 Timothy 4 to 6
Entertaining has become a very cut and dried behaviour pattern in many circles. Having people round for dinner has become a stretching time for the cook – looking for new recipes that won't go wrong but will impress the guests.
Or on the other hand entertaining has become something we can't be bothered to do, because we are so burned out from work and the stress of living – we just want to switch ourselves off and watch the TV.
Heb 13:2 Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels. NKJV
Who would let a stranger in their house these days – particularly if you have just been watching CSI or some other TV crime series? And yet we are told to entertain!
Now I wouldn't want to suggest that you should ignore your own gut feelings about some people, but we are called to have the love of Christ and that should overflow in sharing what we have with those around us. Entertaining shouldn't be restricted to the boss, or our friends of twenty years but also to the new person at church, or our neighbour or new work colleague.
It amuses me that people who never take chances are often the first to complain that life is boring. Taking a chance that entertaining someone will be a flop is enough to put many off entertaining at all. We have to take a chance that people will respond to our love and if they don't first time there is always a chance that we can educate them as to the great power in love on a second or third occasion.
To those who say that they have never had a real supernatural experience they can relate, then Hebrews tells us to entertain – because the visitor might be an angel. Treating a visitor like an angel is never a bad thing! Without doubt there are angelic visitations – and there are also people who turn up who are themselves absolute angels when you get to know them!
If there is one great truth to pick up here it is simply this – instead of entertaining yourself, why not entertain someone else? Instead of watching the TV entertain a VIP. Instead of channel-hopping go bridge-building.
The church will be a more effective and exciting place for those who venture in if they are welcomed with open arms and made to feel at home. If we sanitise ourselves and live in a closed environment we will never win the lost for Jesus or complete the great commission we are faced with.
Perhaps it is barbeque time?