In Matthew 10.40-42 we read about the importance of hospitality among the faithful. It took courage and commitment for the persecuted Christian community of the First Century to offer hospitality to prophets and preachers, so Matthew reminds his readers that they are ministering to Jesus himself in welcoming his disciples and brothers and sisters in the faith who might come from unknown places…..
The cup of water that Matthew asks us to offer is a dangerous thing. It assumes we have looked at our visitor and noticed his or her thirst. We are willing to be inconvenienced, to go to the well and draw the pure clean water and offer it in hospitality—which might lead us to pulling out a chair and inquiring about the rest of the family. It might lead to prayer, to phone calls, and being drawn into this person’s life. It could lead to learning about his or her fears and hopes, and we might find ourselves praying with Solomon: “God, when a foreigner comes to this place because of your great name… listen to his prayer.” And what then?
(from a larger piece by Dr. Maria Teresa Palmer, Director, Multicultural Student Center, North Carolina A&T State University. Read the entire article here)
A Prayer for Neighbor
We thank you, God, for coming to us as a neighbor, a stranger, an immigrant,
binding our wounds and carrying us to safety,
so that we might love you with all our heart, soul, and mind,
and welcome the stranger, loving our neighbor as ourselves.