When was the last time you struck up a conversation with a stranger?
Growing up, I was often embarrassed by my mother who seemed to never have met a stranger. She would strike up conversations with people in line at grocery stores, talk to families sitting behind us at Rangers games and treat salespeople like friends she had known for years. As a shy young person her actions were a constant source of embarrassment to me. Yet, I have now come to appreciate them and to seek to emulate her openness, hospitality and ability to connect with others.
At some point, every person we call friend was a stranger:
Sometimes we move from being strangers to friends through shared experience.
Sometimes we move from being strangers to friends through continued proximity.
Sometimes we move from being strangers to friends through shared passion or interests.
No matter how it happens, at some point, a first conversation took place – a simple introduction, an exchange of story, an opening up, a letting down of barriers. At some point, through conversation, a relationship began to form.
Each week there are people in the church building you may not know – whether they are here for the first time, the 50th or the 500th. Each week we each have the opportunity to strike up a conversation with a stranger, to connect with someone new and to begin to move from being strangers to being friends.
When we welcome and befriend strangers we are welcoming and befriending Christ. Don’t be afraid to be the one to strike up that first conversation!