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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Kingdom Manna


Matthew 8:11, I tell you, many will come from east and west and will eat with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven,

Strangers were not unknown or unwelcome in Israel. Hospitality was universal in the middle east. Caution was not ignored. Often travelers arrived with letters of introduction from previous hosts verifying their guests. When Abraham opened his door to strangers, he made angels welcome.

But this comment is a concern to the listeners. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob held the promises of God to His people. To Israel. Promises of land, inheritance, Messiah. A past and a future concentrated in God’s blessings.

Security shaken. Who are the others? If remnants of the lost tribes-joy! If foreigners, unbelievers-dismay. How could the blessings be so tarnished? What right did these others have to God’s table?

By invitation.

“So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints, and also members of the household of God,…” Welcomed.

By grace. By faith. Each of us included. Lord, let me never forget that once I stood as an alien, a foreigner at Your door. And may I extend a warm hand of reconciliation to each stranger that tentatively comes to Your house.

Psalm of Worship: Psalm 23:5

You prepare a table before me

in the presence of my enemies;

you anoint my head with oil;

my cup overflows.

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