When you read the title of today's post you may be mistaken that I am suggesting that we don't allow strangers into our Churches, but please read the quote first before jumping to the wrong conclusion:
"In our world we're much more comfortable with posting a sign like "No strangers allowed" that reflects the suspicion and fear of our time. But perhaps it is time for us to acknowledge our fear, confront it, and turn that very slogan on its head. "No strangers allowed" means that in the Kingdom of God nobody is a stranger, therefore in this congregation nobody is a stranger." - Alan Brehm, The Waking Dreamer, 2009.
How does that sound? Challenging?
In truth we are sometimes worshipping in churches where we feel like strangers. We may know the faces of people, but do we spend time listening to their struggles, trials and deep needs? Christian community is a hard lifestyle to live out, but when we seek to be the body of Jesus, then we should also strive to make sure that no one feels like a 'stranger' in our midst.
Ephesians 2:19-22 (The Message)
That’s plain enough, isn’t it? You’re no longer wandering exiles. This kingdom of faith is now your home country. You’re no longer strangers or outsiders. You belong here, with as much right to the name Christian as anyone. God is building a home. He’s using us all—irrespective of how we got here—in what he is building. He used the apostles and prophets for the foundation. Now he’s using you, fitting you in brick by brick, stone by stone, with Christ Jesus as the cornerstone that holds all the parts together. We see it taking shape day after day—a holy temple built by God, all of us built into it, a temple in which God is quite at home.
Living in Grace