Welcoming the Poor

Timothy Nelson

READ : Leviticus 25:35-38

If any of your fellow Israelites become poor and are unable to support themselves among you, help them as you would a foreigner and stranger. (v. 35 NIV)

My church used to take groups into our city’s downtown to serve food and lead games at a homeless shelter. One time I observed a member of our group serve food to, and then recognize, an old friend from high school. I was amazed at the man’s story. From riches to rags would have been an understatement. What struck me about his tale was how his church and Christian neighbors suddenly turned their backs on him after a few unforeseen events brought trouble to his life. He had spent the last five years moving from shelter to shelter, carrying more questions than answers, and more needs than neighbors.

What might have happened if his friends and neighbors had heeded the command given in Leviticus 25:35? Would this man have been able to continue living among his neighbors if they had extended to him true biblical hospitality?

We are to take God’s call to hospitality very seriously. We should be looking for friends and neighbors who are in need—welcoming them into our homes and giving of what we have so that they can continue to truly be our neighbors.


Lord, we ask that you would give us eyes to see those who might be in need and lives that sacrificially offer what has been given to us as a blessing to others.