Strangers, No More
“So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,” – Ephesians 2:19
Do you remember the first time you visited a church?
If you grew up in church, do you remember a time when you visited a new church?
Visiting a new church can be a bit daunting, especially if you have never been to a church before. It can all feel very uncomfortable.
- You don’t know the people
- The place looks different
- They may be doing unusual things you’ve never done or seen before
It’s very easy to feel like a stranger in a strange place.
God Welcomes You In
In our passage for today, we see how God treats strangers, foreigners, and outsiders. He not only welcomes them but makes them citizens and family members. We were all, at one time, strangers and aliens. Before we believe in Jesus, that’s what we are. Through our baptism God brings us in and this has real meaning.
- Citizens Have Rights and Protections – If you are a foreigner, you have no rights or protections. When God makes us citizens of His Kingdom, we gain rights of a citizen of the kingdom and full protection of God, Himself.
- Family Members Have Intimacy and Inheritance – God is a close God who wants to have a close relationship with us. He invites us in as His children and makes us to share in the inheritance of Jesus.
We Welcome Others Into Our Family
In our churches, we have the opportunity to not only tell others how God treats outsiders but show them through our actions. We all love to see our church friends and catch up with them, but what if our first instinct was to look around for people who are new or don’t appear to have close connections in the church?
What if we not only made sure we greeted new people but looked for ways to really bring them into the family? That may look like taking them to lunch after the service. It may look like guiding the conversation with a new person to something deeper than the weather to learn more about them and share more about you. It may look like inviting someone to a small group or game night.
Remember what it was like to be new. What would you have liked others to do and say to make you feel welcome and wanted?
How can you do that for someone else?
You are so gracious and generous. You not only forgive us and save us but make us citizens of Your kingdom and members of Your family. Help us to welcome others with the same graciousness and love them with the same authenticity.
In Christ’s Service,