Our God is a Welcoming God. So, why is it so hard for us as Christ followers to welcome others? Why is it easier to keep our heads down and not make eye contact? Why does it feel odd or uncomfortable to smile and say “hi” to folks we don’t know?
Chances are it is more about us; you and me as individuals, than those strangers amongst us. What goes through your mind when Rick or Chip ask you to look around and say “hi” to someone? Do you look for someone that you already know to talk to? Do you act busy and hope no one approaches you? Do you sit down and hope no one comes your way? Does your mind race with the following questions?
- If I say “hi” to them will they talk back to me?
- What if I said “hi” to them before, and I don’t remember their name?
- I have seen them numerous times over the years. Why have they never said “hi” to me?
- What if they want to talk?
- What if they want something from me?
- What if they don’t want anyone to approach them?
- The “what if’s” can go on and on.
- So, next time ask yourself this: What if that stranger sitting quietly near you was Jesus?
“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.”
-- Matthew 25:35-36
“Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you,
for the glory of God.”
-- Romans 15:7
“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.”
-- Hebrews 13: