WALK A MILE…

WEEK SEVEN, DAY TWO, COMMON ENGLISH BIBLE COMPANION

WEEK SEVEN THEME: HOSPITALITY

DAY TWO THEME: EXTENDING INVITATIONS

SCRIPTURE: HEBREWS 13:1-3 (CEB)

“Keep loving each other like family.  Don’t neglect to open up your homes to guests, because by doing this some have been hosts to angels without knowing it.  Remember prisoners as if you were in prison with them, and people who are mistreated as if you were in their place.”

THE WORD OF GOD FOR THE PEOPLE OF GOD – THANKS BE TO GOD!

SOAKING IT IN: The dictionary defines empathy as “the ability to understand and share the feelings of another”. Expanding further that empathy is “the sensing of other people’s emotions, and the imagining of what someone else might be thinking or feeling.”  Hebrews 13:1-3 calls for empathy. 

According to this short and very challenging scripture, the thoughts and actions of a Christian will take them above themselves and their humanity, and require more of them than they may be able to do on their own.  Christians are to treat each person as family.  Well, that is hard.  There are things about some folks that we don’t like or approve of, but we are to treat them as family?  That is stretching our human abilities. This call on our living is taking us to the point where we let go of all prejudices and judgments and simply “love anyway” and do all we can to make a difference rather than ignore what we don’t understand.  

And further, we are to remember prisoners as if we were in prison with them…in their place.  That’s hard to do when you don’t know how a person gets to that place in their living when they feel okay with committing a crime or worse.  And it is also fairly common that many prisoners have been falsely accused and can’t get un-trapped from it. This scripture is almost summed up with the often said phrase, “there, but for the grace of God, go I.” This scripture reminds us that we could very well be in that same circumstances and need rather than judge and shake our heads to reach out and have empathy and see where we can help and comfort. It is hard, but it is a call on all who want to follow in the footsteps of Jesus.  

These scriptures desire for us to move from judgment to compassion.  How many of those in our prison systems today only have known a life of violence or theft as survival?  How has life treated them that has put them now in prison? What is their “why”, and how can God’s people help?  How can that chain be broken to give folks alternatives to the horrors that surround them and have surrounded them from a very early age – things that are not of their own doing?

Christians are never to become content in the comforts that are afforded them, they are to always be accepting and reaching out to others to make a difference in how their lives might be better too.  How can our hospitatlity affect change for those who find themselves in need – whether it is the need of material things or the need of love. 

As we open our arms and our doors and our hearts to all who cross our path, then we share in the opportunity to bring God’s Kingdom into daily living!  Praise God for His unbounding grace and love to us and through us to others!

Joe South wrote and sang a song, ‘WALK A MILE IN MY SHOES’ elaborates on this Hebrews scripture for me:

If I could be you
And you could be me
For just one hour
If we could find a way
To get inside
Each other’s mind, mm-hmm

If you could see you
Through my eyes
Instead of your ego
I believe you’d be
Surprised to see
That you’ve been blind, mm-hmm

[Chorus]
Walk a mile in my shoes
Walk a mile in my shoes
Hey, before you abuse
Criticize and accuse
Walk a mile in my shoes


Now, your whole world
You see around you
Is just a reflection
And the law of karma
Says you’re gonna reap
Just what you sow, yes you will


So unless
You’ve lived a life
Of total perfection
You better be careful
Of every stone
That you should throw, yeah

And yet we spend the day
Throwing stones
At one another
‘Cause I don’t think
Or wear my hair
Same way you do, mm-hmm

Well, I may be
Common people
But I’m your brother
And when you strike out
And try to hurt me
It’s hurtin’ you, Lord have mercy

[Chorus]
Walk a mile in my shoes
Walk a mile in my shoes
Hey, before you abuse
Criticize and accuse
Walk a mile in my shoes

There are people
On reservations
And out in the ghettos
And brother, there
But for the grace of God
Go you and I, yeah, yeah

And if I only
Had the wings
Of a little angel, yeah
Don’t you know I’d fly
To the top of the mountain
And then I’d cry, hey

[Chorus]
Walk a mile in my shoes
Walk a mile in my shoes
Hey, before you abuse
Criticize and accuse
Better walk a mile in my shoes

TIME TO GET BUSY SWAPPING SHOES AND EMPATHIZING AND LOVING ONE ANOTHER!

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