Angels at Your Doorstep

“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels without knowing it” (Hebrews 13:2).

What would you do if you knew an angel of the Lord was coming to your house tomorrow morning for breakfast?

Most of us would probably clean our houses until they were spotless, get up early to prepare a meal, neatly set the table, and prepare for what kinds of conversations we’d have with our visitor. We would try to be the best host by showing both hospitality and reverence.

We like to think that we would be well-prepared and on our best behavior before greeting a heavenly host, but the Word reminds us that we should always be ready, no matter the day, hour, or person. We should endeavor to show hospitality and honor all the time, because some of us have entertained angels without knowing it. People have met angels on the street and in the grocery store and at the mall. They’re all around us.

Consider when the angel Gabriel comes to visit Mary. She does not have an attitude of entitlement and she does not expect for the angel to bless her. She hasn’t lived her life expecting to be favored or chosen by God, but instead, she’s found with a humble heart and a willing spirit. Mary was already living her life in humility and selflessness before she ever carried the child of God, and the Lord chose her because she honored Him. She was devoted to the Lord long before the angel Gabriel came to her home and long before she knew of the Lord’s plan. She was found faithful before she found favor.

Mary had holy integrity. She had holy character, pursing the Lord in her personal life even while no one was watching. And yet, she was also willing to bear public shame even while everyone was watching. The Lord knew that Mary, having a gentle spirit and a strong heart, was the right one for such a task.

We look at Mary and wonder what it must be like for the Lord to send us angels bearing important, world-altering messages. If an angel showed up on your doorstep tomorrow morning unexpectedly, what would you be found doing? How would you be found living your life? If you didn’t have time to prepare your heart, would your heart be found rooting in the Lord, or would it be twisted up in worldly matters?

The Lord might never send us messengers who deliver world-altering speeches, but perhaps He will send us people, even His own angels, to test us and try us to see if we are indeed people of faith. The Lord tests our character. He wants us to find favor with Him.

Will we be people the Lord sees as honorable? Let us be found with the heart and character of Mary, willing and humbled to serve the Lord at any moment.

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