Zaccheus was an unprepared host. When he thought he was just climbing a tree to see Jesus, he ended the day throwing a party for Jesus and his friends. That hadn’t been his plans for the day at all.

We too will get unexpected guests. Will it matter that we haven’t tidied the house or our hair isn’t combed. Fortunately I have the reputation that if anyone appears on my doorstep they are invited for a cup of tea. Often they have to rush away but sometimes my visitor has had a need to talk and unburden themselves. It is so much easier over a tea or coffee.

I don’t want to be like an acquaintance of mine, when I heard she was ill I knocked on her door. ‘Don’t bother me, I’m watching the soaps on television.’, she retorted. I didn’t even risk visiting her again.

Martha and Mary

Two sisters who practised hospitality were surely Martha and Mary. When they entertained Jesus no doubt many of His friends came along as well, so it was no small matter. Theirs was a home where Jesus could relax and rest. So much was demanded of Jesus during His life that it must have been great to have been able to rest or switch off as he needed..

I pray that our own homes are places where we can provide what people really and not what we think they need. It is not our agenda but that of our visitors. It is their needs not ours that matter.