God’s Word for Today: Xenia
Hebrews 13:2 Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.
In my quest to eventually put together a book, possibly, God’s Word A-Z, I found in my writings that I had fallen short on words starting with X and Z. That really was no surprise. I was surprised that Q actually had been used 3 times. So, in researching the letter X, we decided that xenia was a good word.
When I first was scanning through the words beginning with X (In the English language, there are actually 49 if you count plurals) and came across xenia, my first thought was the flowers my sister Peggy always planted that were really pretty with deep yellows, oranges, reds, and purples. But, when you attempted to take a whiff of these beautiful gifts from God, they had a rather unpleasant odor. A couple flips through Goggle determined that those flowers are Zinnias, not xenias. Peggy could have told me that.
So, on to Webster’s Dictionary for the definition of xenia. First definition: the immediate influence of pollen from one strain of a plant upon the endosperm of another strain resulting in hybrid characters in the form, color, etc. of the resulting growth, as in the colors of corn grains. Farming background should have had xenia as a common word because of its relation to corn hybrids. Maybe we covered that in High School science. Did we Mr. Johnson??
Next definition is: the concept of hospitality to strangers. I liked that definition. Maybe a Bed and Breakfast should put that on their advertisements. “We excel at XENIA!!” Would that get them more business? At least it would make people think.
God calls us to produce xenia every day. Today’s Bible verse is one of my favorites. Every time I see someone with a cardboard sign at an intersection. A hitchhiker with their thumb out. A homeless person sitting on a busy sidewalk with a cup in front of them. Or, those in Paraguay who stand outside you gate clapping their hands asking for a little money, food, or clothing. I think about today’s verse. I think about God’s simple statement of practicing xenia.
I will admit that those times when I am too busy, times when my wallet is empty, or times when the cupboards only have enough food left to feed the family till the next influx of money, I feel extremely guilty and sad, passing by one of God’s angels. Even if that angel has been on the same corner for the last 3 months. Even if that angel I have given to before, comes back on a biweekly basis. How do I ever know if I am giving xenia to God’s angel, or just a person down on their luck. Maybe they are actually one in the same. I truly believe they are all God’s angels in some form or another.
I will let you in on a little secret. Every time I have practiced xenia to a stranger, the return has been tenfold. Sometimes it is within just a few minutes that a blessing shows up at my door. Most times it is within the same day. Other times, the blessing shows up exactly when I need it. Not once, have I ever felt that I wasted my time, money, or food as a meaningless gesture.
Today, look for ways to practice your xenia. It is easy to do with friends and neighbors. A little more difficult with complete strangers. Know that God’s angels are out there. You and I are God’s children, so is everybody else. Try pulling from your own pockets to someone in need. Trust me, xenia is a good thing………….
Prayer: Dear Lord, provider of everything I have ever needed. Thank you for your daily blessings. Forgive me Lord, when I hold on too tight to my abundance. Help me to be able to give a little more freely. You provide for me; I need to provide for others. In Jesus’, whose xenia for us was given with His life, name I pray. Amen and amen.