A man knocks on the door. He is asking for food, a job and somewhere to sleep for the night. How do you respond? Feeling awkward or unsure how to help, or even looking for the ‘easy way out’ are normal reactions to such a situation.
Perhaps you have had this experience and have had one or more of these feelings. At the heart of this interaction is also the question, what would Jesus do? For me, Jesus’s sense of hospitality stands out.
Often there is a disconnect between what we know we should or could do and what we actually end up doing. Being interrupted in our day by someone looking for assistance is inconvenient. Undoubtedly, we have other things we would rather be doing. Jesus has a habit of catching us off guard most of the time. It is precisely when we are in the middle of our day, preoccupied with other tasks and responsibilities that God taps us on the shoulder and says, “pay attention to this.” We are faced with a choice. Do we allow ourselves to be interrupted by God, or do we say, “I’m so sorry, but I can’t help you today” and close the door?
If we choose to be interrupted by God, we in turn participate in God’s sense of hospitality and participate in the Kingdom of God being a present reality in this world at this time. The Kingdom of God is not supposed to be a distant land or place, just beyond arms reach. God is here with us now, in this world. God has a habit of not waiting until we are ready, or for a convenient time. God comes to us now, in the business of everyday and invites us to inherit the Kingdom prepared for us. As Matthew 25: 34 elaborates further, “Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.’”