For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings. 1 Corinthians 9:19-23 (ESV)
Some of the best teachers are those who haven’t forgotten how to be kids- teachers who aren’t afraid to sit down with kids, join in their play, and get dirty with them. After all, we tend to trust those with whom we share common bonds.
Hospitality is easy when other people are like us, when we share common culture, similar world views, eat the same foods and so forth. It’s not so easy for us when others have radically different cultures, opposing world views and other differences from us.
For Christians, Jesus is the common bond, the Author and Perfecter of our faith (so says the writer of the book of Hebrews.) As we look to find common bonds with others we remember that we can have unity in Christ even if our cultures, world views and even languages are different.
It is helpful for us to learn about our neighbors and to actually spend time with them. Sometimes it is good to take a moment to share a meal or a cup of coffee with someone we may not be well acquainted with. It is no coincidence that on the Emmaus road Jesus was made known to those travelers in the breaking of the bread. (Luke 24:13-35)
God can use those times when we connect with others for the Gospel to shine through us so that another may hear and be brought to faith. God can use those moments spent with others to strengthen and encourage and teach His truth to us and others.
Every person we encounter is a person for whom Jesus died. We respond to His love when we care for others enough to share with them and step into their lives.