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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Host and guest

Both delight in the significance and profound humanity of each other


Read Genesis 18:1-15.

Imagine, if you will, a party at my house tonight. Fine wine will be poured. Locally grown vegetables will accent the main dish. The dessert? Well, that's always a surprise at our house. Just assume it will be out-of-this world, given my wife's affection for confection. The guest list is small. You happen to be on it.

You arrive at the appointed time and ring the doorbell. Nobody answers, so you warily let yourself in. When no one responds to your "Hello?" you open a few hallway doors looking for the coat closet. After finding a spare hanger on the closet floor with which to hang your jacket, you go further into the house.

In the kitchen, my wife and I are sitting back enjoying an appetizer. It quickly becomes apparent through our benign neglect that you are on your own for figuring out the evening. After more than an hour of standing around with no one bothering to offer you a cracker, drink or even a chair, you open the fridge to help yourself. Others guests arrive and find themselves navigating the same awkwardness.


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