Have you ever wanted to meet an angel? If so, let some homeless people into your home.
Scripture says: “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.” (Hebr 13:2). And even if the person we’re hosting turns out to be mere human, that’s not a very big problem since we are then simply doing a very good deed: “Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” (Rom 12:13).
In Sweden where I live, almost 50% of all the households are single households, meaning that only one person lives in them. We have almost half a million vacation houses standing empty most months of the year. And yet, so many – even Christians – are arguing that we don’t have space for more immigrants, that we should send Syrian refugees back to war and Romanian beggars back to misery. How about showing some hospitality instead?
In Europe overall there are 11 million empty homes, in contrast to four million homeless people. We have so much space, so much housing and so much wealth, and yet so many are arguing that we’ve reached the limit and can’t help poor people anymore. There is an evil spirit of greed and egoism possessing Europe right now, and it’s killing thousands in the Mediterranean sea.
The same hostility to hospitality can be seen in Australia, where white people who themselves were illegal immigrants want to stop illegal immigration and send poor people back to the hell they fled from. The Christian Love Makes a Way campaign try to change the dark political debate by emphasizing love, compassion and a welcoming spirit, but I wonder how many Christians really are practising hospitality?
Again, there are four million homeless people in Europe. And there are 550 million Christians. That means, if less than one percent of all Christians showed hospitality to a homeless person, there would be no homelessness.
It’s not always easy, I know. My community house hosted a homeless family during one month, that’s the limit our landlord gave us. Now we try to get a caravan for them. Yet, many Christians own their own places and wouldn’t have to mind landlords. All Christians are called to community of goods like in the book of Acts (2:44-45), but most ignore it. God, I pray for a hospitality revival where we will discover the beauty and thrill of welcoming strangers and angels into our homes. Amen.