Paul is writing about Phoebe, a friend who showered him with hospitality. We have no idea what that meant—perhaps she could throw together a great meal (without a microwave) in less than fifteen minutes. I’ve always joked to friends they can stop by any time, but give me a fifteen-minute notice. That’s how long it takes me to shove stuff into drawers and closets, Comet the kitchen sink, swish a rag and some Windex over the guest bathroom vanity, and call Pizza Hut. And, I try not to look worn out when they arrive.
This summer my Aunt Char passed away. When watching the video of her memorial service, one theme ran through the comments made by family and friends–hospitality. You never entered her home without being fed and rarely did she cross the threshold of family or friends without something to share. I cherish the luncheon table cloth she gave me the last time I visited her–perhaps one she had used when serving guests her wonderful Norwegian pastries and a cup of coffee.
God doesn’t ask us to be the “hostess with the mostess.” Phoebe most likely made Paul comfortable, listened to his stories, and gave him nourishing food and encouragement for his journey.
Dear Lord, show us opportunities to be a host to anyone who enters into our homes. Amen