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Thursday, March 14 Wait! What?

Psalm 27:1 (ESV)
The Lord is my light and my salvation;
    whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life;
    of whom shall I be afraid?


During Lent, our pastors have been talking about Hospitality and Service.  One Sunday, as one of our pastors spoke about “extending hospitality to strangers,” my mind began to push back on that idea.

(internal dialog: “Whoa! To strangers?”  Suddenly this is all getting very real!  “But I don’t know that person!”  “I don’t know how they will react!”  “I don’t want to offend anyone.  Maybe my hospitality could be misinterpreted by a stranger.”)

Realizing that my mind was beginning to race, I decided to sleep on it. Days later, while working on a Lenten devotion, I read Psalm 27.  The first verse grabs my attention.

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

As I think about the Lenten devotion topic of “Hospitality and Service,” I realize that I have been fearful of “the stranger.” It is a fear of the unknown. Could that fear be impacting my faith walk?  (sigh) 

I am reminded of a story in Acts 9:1-22, in which a believer, named Ananias, was told through a vision to go to a certain place and find “a man from Tarsus named Saul.”  (Saul was a persecutor of the early Christians and he was proud of it.)  Through that vision, Ananias was told to “lay hands on Saul so that he might regain his sight.” Ananias pushed back on this prompting from the Holy Spirit because he had heard about this man and he knew that Saul was a danger to the believers.  But the Lord told him to “go.”  The Lord had a plan for Saul’s life—such an amazing plan.  This man, Saul, who persecuted the early church, was renamed Paul!  God worked through Paul to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with the Gentiles.


Heavenly Father,

Forgive me when I look to myself for light and salvation. I know that You are my light and salvation.  Give me the courage to face the unknown, trusting in you as my stronghold.  Help me to take that next step of faith and rely on You.  Show me how to offer hospitality to the stranger.  Guide me and help me to follow You. Amen.

Rob Ransom