Hospitality

In my abundant naivety and goodness, it seems I have been going about hospitality all wrong when it comes to evil. In my mind, I thought how Jesus welcomed all and sat with sinners, for they were the ones needing salvation, not the righteous. And I remembered, ‘I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.’ And, I had read, ‘Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.’

And it is true. We should help those who are in need and invite them in. Feed, clothe and shelter them. But since I’ve become a target for the wicked authorities, the ‘needy’ I encounter are not actually in need, but plainclothes officers out doing their part. So, I thought I would reach out to those who are fallen, the minions that surround me. Shine for them just as I would the needy.

This was wrong.

‘But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.’

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‘Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to keep away from any brother who leads an undisciplined life that is not in keeping with the tradition you received from us.’

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‘If anyone comes to you but does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your home or even greet him.’

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‘Stay away from people who say foolish things that are not from God. Stay away from those who argue against the truth. They use something they call “knowledge,” but it is really not knowledge.’

From this day forward I suppose I will be spending a lot of time physically alone. But I am never truly alone. The one who lives in me keeps me strong and in good company. ‘You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.’ I have been chosen from the beginning to be saved, so says Paul in 2 Thessalonians.

Helps me to understand my fortuitous name, Crystal Fulbright. That was God’s doing.

God is so good and patient. May he bless my house and keep it from any further evil. And use me to bring others into this peace I’ve found through Jesus. He is truly the Way.

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