Note: This is part 2 of a 3-week series. Click here to read Part 1:The Request of Hospitality. Check back next Monday for week 3!
“Don’t be frightened,” said David. “I’d like to do something special for you in memory of your father Jonathan. To begin with, I’m returning to you all the properties of your grandfather Saul. Furthermore, from now on you’ll take all your meals at my table.”Shuffling and stammering, not looking him in the eye, Mephibosheth said, “Who am I that you pay attention to a stray dog like me?” 2 Samuel 9:7-8
Across the country, families open their homes to foster children. These families selflessly show children love and care, offering them a glimpse of hope to see beyond the life they have been living. They allow their schedules to be interrupted or inconvenienced and welcome a change of dynamic into their homes. This is big picture thinking; the kind of perspective that results in hope.
David also offers Mephibosheth a priceless gift…hope. There was absolutely no reason for David to be kind to him. Since Mephibosheth was related to the previous king, he would be considered a threat to David. However, David saw past the lines of power and position and used hospitality as the vehicle to offer hope. Can you imagine the confusion Mephibosheth was experiencing? In all likelihood, he had probably thought he was going to die for being summoned by the king. But, now he was going to be included in the royal family and given back his family property. The story of Mephibosheth seems so similar to our story. We were enemies of God, yet God reached out to us with loving kindness through Jesus. Though we were once hopeless, our hope is restored through God’s mercy, faithfulness, and unfailing love. Because of this encounter with Kind David, Mephibosheth’s life completely changed for the better. And, when we encounter the kindness of God, it changes our lives too. Hope is a priceless gift you can give someone. Everyday, we have the opportunity to offer hope to people in hopeless circumstances. Instead of bypassing people with lesser positions and no power, maybe it’s time to put kindness to work and start sharing the hope of Jesus.