Genesis 18:1 – July 17, 2022

The LORD appeared to Abraham by the oak of Mamre, as he sat in the entrance of his tent, while the day was growing hot. Genesis 18:1 NABRE                

This verse opens an interesting and popular chapter about Abraham welcoming the Lord, and those with Him. The visit of these three, often thought of as God and two accompanying angels happens soon after Abraham’s conversation with God and his circumcision. God had told Abraham he will have a son and name him Isaac and so Abraham seals the covenant with circumcision, a tradition continued in the Hebrew people perpetually. We can imagine God speaks to Abraham directly because of the commitment through the covenant and circumcision. It is a rare time when God appears, much as He did in the garden with Adam. For his part, Abraham receives God through his hospitality and God again promises that Sarah will have a son. Abraham believes in God and walks in his presence and covenantally with Him, he is ready to welcome a stranger into his tent, knowing He is a special guest. Often this scene is interpreted as a view of the trinity and some even see it as a foreshadowing of the welcoming the mother of Jesus provides for God.

Welcome and hospitality are great attributes of a follower of God. Many communities formed and centered their life on the gift of hospitality, including monasteries through the years. It is the welcoming of the stranger that has become a tenant of the spiritual life. One of Jesus’ most popular stories is the assisting of a stranger who is hurt, known as the story of the Good Samaritan. However, we are in a time when we are warned to beware of the stranger, they are out to hurt or steal from us. But we see in this story, God Himself is the stranger who requires hospitality and Abraham does not let Him down.

Do you welcome strangers? What is your feeling on hospitality?

We are in a time when we are warned to beware of the stranger, they are out to hurt or steal from us. But we see in this Mamre Tree story, God Himself is the stranger who requires hospitality and Abraham does not let Him down. Click To Tweet

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