You might not think about it much, but pesky bees are important to our ecosystem. In truth, nearly one third of the world’s crops are dependent on bees for pollination. Favorites like apples, cherries, blueberries, avocados and even broccoli would disappear if those buzzing irritants were eradicated. (In point of fact, modern pesticides are endangering them.)
As I am considering Hebrews chapter thirteen this week, I keep hearing “bees” in my mind. That chapter begins with the admonition to “keep on loving one another as brothers…” And if the writer (likely the apostle Paul) left the discussion right there, we would all just give it the “spiritual nod” and move on.
But Paul slows down a bit as he outlines a whole series of practical things we can and should BE doing as we let brotherly love continue throughout our week. We might call them the “Ten Hebrew Bees.”
He starts by enjoining us to BE hospitable. (And he tantalizes us a bit by reminding us that we might actually entertain a real, live angel during one of our hospitable moments. Think about it, that might be an angel with a sign in his hand, sitting on the curb outside Costco.)
He adds the need to BE compassionate and pure. We are told to BE content (remember Paul’s assertion in Phil. 4: 11 “…for I have learned to BE content whatever the circumstances”).
He reminds us to BE submissive to those in authority over us. (Some of us are finding that particularly hard to do right now.) And then the writer shifts his attention to the need for us to BE seekers of God, worshippers who are obedient to the Lord. He sums up the list with the injunction to BE prayerful and when we are, we are equipped for our Christian life.
These are not difficult concepts to understand. They are practical. They can be achieved.
As the holiday season begins, let’s all BE incredibly intentional as we consider these “Hebrew Bees.”
Most importantly, let’s purposefully focus on BEING “followers of God” (Eph. 5:1).