Aprons, Pineapples, Cookie Jars, and Lemonade
Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. -Hebrews 13:2
My Aunt Gwen has always been one of my very favorite people! Conjure up the image of Aunt Bee of Mayberry, and you have a pretty good idea the type of individual my aunt is to those who know her best. For as long as I have known her, Aunt Gwen has always been busy in her kitchen, preparing meals for her family and making certain to have homemade "refreshments" on hand for any back-door friends who may drop by to "sit a spell."
And she always wears an apron. I have vivid memories of my aunt's collection! I remember watching her don an apron first thing in the morning to roll out her famous biscuits, and she pretty much wore it all the day long, unless she needed to run into town on Saturdays, or until it was time to go to church on Sundays and Wednesdays.
One of Aunt Gwen's favorite Bible verses was the Hebrews passage above from the King James Version. She did her very best to impress upon her daughters and nieces that your home should be made ready to entertain at a moment's notice. The pastor might come for a visit, a friend may knock at your door for a cup of sugar, or a complete stranger may be in need of a warm meal.
Aunt Gwen's advice was to always have a starched apron handy, a pineapple in the fruit bowl on the table as a sign of welcome, a cookie jar full of homemade goodies, and a pitcher of fresh-squeezed lemonade chilling in the fridge. That way, in a pinch, you could entertain johnny-on-the-spot and offer the gift of gab until you could get a "real meal" on the table.
I was recently delighted by the invitation of a young couple in our congregation to share a meal with them in their home. Upon arriving, the first thing I noticed was that the hostess was wearing a beautiful denim apron, the very same apron her young daughters had given to me as a Christmas gift. When I opened the box and unfolded the apron, my mind was flooded with warm memories of my Aunt Gwen, and I felt it was truly a God moment in my life.
I have felt an undeniable connection with this family since first meeting them last fall, and I offer thanks to them for welcoming me into their home. That evening, I was truly blessed to read bedtime stories to their beautiful daughters, to share a scrumptious meal prepared with love, and to have the opportunity to "sit a spell" with a brother and sister in Christ.
Prayer for Today
Lord, we thank you for Christian fellowship. In our busyness, help us to slow down long enough to catch our breath, lest we miss an opportunity to convene with our brothers and sisters in the love of Christ. Amen.