Be Given to Hospitality

 

Romans 12:13, Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.

From a sermon by Martin Luther preached in 1525.  I think it has some relevance to our attitude toward refugees.

“How strange!  Every day we ask and desire the saints to care for our necessities, and St. Paul teaches us to distribute to theirs.

St. Paul mentions the necessities of the saints in order to stimulate and inflame us all the more to do good to Christians. He points out to us the true saints, namely, those who in dire need; that is, they don’t look like saints at all, rather they look like poor, forlorn, hungry, naked, imprisoned, killed people who are in need of everybody’s help and cannot help themselves.  The world regards them as wretched evil doers who deserve to suffer all kinds of misery.  Christ will bring forward such saints on the Day of Judgment, saying, “’you have done to the least of these My brethren you have done it to Me.’  And then the great saint-worshippers will stand in shame and fear before these saints, whom they would not look upon on earth because of their disgrace.

Be given to hospitality!  Here he begins to enumerate some of the necessities of the saints and to teach how we should care for them, namely, this cannot be done by words alone but by deeds, such as to give them hospitality when they need it.  It also includes all other bodily needs such as feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, and clothing the naked.”

 

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