Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Proper 17 C - Hebrews 13:1-8, 15-16

“Entertaining Angels Unaware” is one of my favorite songs by Erik Johansson, a Vermonter and part time Texan who restores pipe organs and through his music and prayer the human heart as well, including my own I might add. It was always my first request in the past when he would unpack his hand made harp, followed closely by my second request for a whimsical, sweet song about fishing with a child. They might be the same thing for when the human heart is healed by hospitality the angels are entertained and in our restoration they rejoice. The hospitable life of Hebrews is found in mutual love expressed by loving the stranger, which is the literal meaning of the Greek. It means we remember those in prison as if we were in their place. It is for one’s own being to be tortured by the thought of another’s body violated, as well as grieving for the spirit and soul and mind of the one who devises and inflicts pain upon another. Honoring marriage, resisting the lure of wealth, contentment within one’s self, being thankful for faithful leaders, doing good and sharing what you have are all expressions of the hospitable life in which the angels rejoice and God is pleased. So entertaining angels unaware is not a chance encounter with a cherub but a life encountered and changed by Jesus, the same yesterday, today and always.

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