Text: Acts 28:1-10, 1 Kings 17:8-24, Psalm 128:1-2
“It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
– Acts 20:35b
Random drop-ins scare the pants off of some people. There’s nothing like the 2 p.m. knock at the door when you’re still in your pajamas, children running amuck through the house and you’ve yet to put on a bra for the day. What to do? Throw on a sweatshirt despite the fact that it’s 85 degrees outside? Maybe peek out from the upstairs window to see who’s there? Perhaps it’s a friend or a neighbor. Do you welcome them in? Brew a pot of coffee? Brush the shoes and socks off the couch and settle in for a visit? Or do you pretend you aren’t home, even though the sounds from inside say otherwise?
Remember Publius from Acts 28 last week? He is the chief of Malta who invited Paul and the prisoners to his home for 3 days when they were shipwrecked. I always wonder what those 3 days must have looked like, hosting a complete stranger under such odd and abrupt circumstances. At some point during that time, while Paul is walking gardens or lounging at the table after dinner with his new friend, it is mentioned that Publius’s father is very ill. So Paul, being Paul, goes to visit his father and pray for him.
Publius’s father is immediately healed.
Healings are a pretty big deal, so once again Paul and the group become the talk of the town. Word gets out and before Paul’s 3 days on the island are up, all of the sick people of Malta come to receive prayer and are healed.
Did you get that? The whole island is healed because of the welcome extended to strangers. The island is transformed by radical hospitality.
Or what about the widow in Zarephath from 1 Kings 17? She gives Elijah, a complete stranger, food and drink despite the fact that she only has enough for herself and her son. Her tiny bit of flour and oil multiplies enough to feed the three of them for many days. She is a mom whose son falls ill, and because she had offered such unusual kindness, Elijah petitions the Lord for healing.
This woman opened her door to an unexpected guest and received blessing herself because of her willingness to live generously. Her kindness yielded healing for her household.
It is the economy of our Father that “it is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). We receive blessing in the welcome.
Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in his ways! You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you.
– Psalm 128:1-2
When we extend ourselves in kindness for others, I wonder how often we are the ones who receive the greater blessing? Perhaps our heart of welcome even opens the door for us to receive healing!
Kinda makes you want to open the door more often, doesn’t it?
Logan Wolfram is the Executive Director of Allume who most loves to write, connect, and encourage women. Daughter of a most extravagant and hospitable King, wife to Jeremy, and mother to 2 wild and inquisitive little boys, her days are filled with a combination of routine and plenty of the unexpected.