God Lingers Near

Genesis 18:2-3

He lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, three men stood in front of him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them, and bowed himself to the earth, and said, “My lord, if I have found favor in your sight, do not pass by your servant.”

Thought for the Day:  Be hospitable to God and He will linger and speak to you.

One of the events we look forward to every summer with the Locke Family is visiting some of “my family” in Sweetwater, Tennessee. They are not really my family but they have felt like second parents to me since I was in high school. We became close when their son, Marty, became a type of caregiver for my brother Ricky when we lived in Camden, Tennessee. Each visit we are welcomed into their home and are taken in immediately to share stories of things that have happened since our last visit. They offer us meals and we sit around the table laughing at stories and crying occasionally. Mrs. Vivian and Mr. Fred work to make each meal perfect for everyone in our family inviting the rest of “my family” in to share the meal with us. We will sometimes have Marty and his wife, Linda, and will occasionally have other members of the family. We normally stay only one night, but that time is special. As we pack up to leave, there is a special lingering time where we know we need to leave, but really don’t want to. Someone will start another story and we will begin sharing again. When I was young, many young people congregated at their home in Camden, Tennessee where Mrs. Vivian could give her words of love and wisdom. Now that we are older, my family still congregates at her home in Sweetwater, Tennessee where she still gives her words of love and precious advice.

Today, I read about Abraham and the way he and his wife, Sarah, took three visitors in offering full hospitality. God and the two angels who visited them took in the hospitality and gifts then lingered in that place. Abraham became friends with the visitors and in turn God told them of the covenant that would be fulfilled and gave them new “secrets” that would affect them. The part that touched me this morning was when the writer said that after we recognize God in our lives “we can expect the same gift Abraham received: the God who lingers and speaks.” What does that mean for us today? When we are hospitable to God and worship Him, He will spend the day! “The God who approached Abraham approaches us.” Wow! Does that excite you as it does me!

Prayer:   God, thank you for lingering near to us – even when we do not recognize you. Welcome, God, to our place. Be with us and linger near to us as we go through our day. Amen.


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