"Make sure the house is clean and a pot of potatoes is in the oven, " says Alex, 6.
I'm sure Idaho potato farmers will be glad to know that spuds are finally getting the respect they deserve. Alex, you were probably thinking of their white, flaky texture when you selected potatoes as the cuisine of choice for celestial visitors. The Bible speaks of instances where people entertained strangers who were really angels in human form (Genesis 18, 19 & Hebrews 13:2).
When an angel comes to visit, get out those dancing shoes, says Anissa, 7: “I would dance and dance until I had no more dances to do. Then I would sing the angel's favorite song. "
King David danced before the ark when it was brought into Jerusalem. His wife was embarrassed, but David didn't care because he loved the Lord.
"I would let the angel stay the night with me and let him sleep in my bed, " says Erica, 9. “I would sleep on the floor. I would let him watch whatever show he would like even if I didn't like it. I would ask him, ‘What is it like in heaven? Is it pretty or fun? What is God like?'"
Once I had the humbling experience of discovering that a couple had given me their beautiful master bedroom while they slept in an unfinished room on the floor. Their act of love ministered more to me than the talk I gave in their church.
If there were an etiquette book on entertaining angels, Adrienne's advice would be on page one: “If you treat everybody with kindness and hospitality, you will please God even if it is not an angel. "
Advice from Jennifer, 11, would also make page one: “If someone is in need and needs help, we should help them. We need to treat people like angels like the way Jesus did. "
I commend Adrienne and Jennifer for grasping the real meaning of the Bible's statement, “Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels" (Hebrews 13:2). Entertain in this case means to show hospitality.
I know a Christian couple whose door is always open. Don't call ahead. Just drop in and see them. Is it any wonder that the Davis family is blessed with many friends? “A man who has friends must himself be friendly, " says Proverbs 18:24.
Although few can be sure if they have ever encountered an angel, we know from the Bible that angels are watching.
Rebecca, 10, is aware of her angelic audience when she says: “I think when you sing and glorify God, the angels like to listen, too. But they love it when you tell people about Jesus. "
Boy, do they love it! The Bible says, “There is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents" (Luke 15:10).
Angels rejoice when people (sinners) change their thinking about the way they relate to God. Don't depend on your own efforts to earn something for which you can't pay. Accept God's free gift of eternal life by believing in his Son. The Apostle Paul calls this “repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ" (Acts 20:21).
"If an angel walked up to me just like a regular person, I would tell him about Jesus, " says Kristen, 9. “If the person were poor, I would give him food. If he were cold, I would let him in my house. I would show him Jesus in me. "
Think about this: Every Christian can serve as a hospitality minister.
Memorize this truth: “Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels" (Hebrews 13:2).
Ask this question: How would your world change if you treated everyone like they were messengers from heaven?
Carey Kinsolving is a syndicated columnist, producer, author, speaker and website developer. To see more articles like this one, visit http://www.KidsTalkAboutGod.org/ColumnArchive.aspx . The Kids Talk About God website contains free, online content for children and families. See Carey’s Kid TV Interviews. Print free lessons from the “Kids Color Me Bible" and make your own book. Let an 11-year-old girl take you on a trip around the world in the Mission Explorers Streaming Video. Print Scripture verses illustrated by child artists. Receive a complimentary, weekly e-mail subscription to our Devotional Bible Lessons.
Bible quotations in this Bible lesson are from the New King James Version.
Copyright 2006 Carey Kinsolving