No Greeting for a Stranger? 

 

This week I arranged to have coffee with an elderly man whom I recently met. For nearly two hours over coffee and apple pie, I listened to story after story of his life, family and ministry.

He is a 90-year-old missionary who served in a very difficult ministry field for 52 years and who moved to this area to be with family to care for him.

When he left his place of ministry recently, hundreds of Christians and non-Christians showed up at a special send off to give respect to this man who labored so faithfully for Christ and the Gospel in their villages and towns.

When he first moved to this area, he attended a Bible church his first Sunday. He parked in a handicap space and with his cane walked slowly in pain but was excited to be with new brothers and sisters in Christ. However, in this church of nearly 200 people, no one spoke to or greeted him in the Sunday school or the worship service, NO ONE!

Even though he had dealt with sorrow and discouragement over the many years of service, and even as a mature man in Christ, he left the church that day with great sadness!

This is not a rarity. God’s people, who are taught in the Word of God to be kind, hospitable, encouraging, seem rather rude and unwelcoming to strangers.

This next Sunday in our churches, as we greet and show friendship and love to our friends, let’s not neglect the old man (and other strangers and visitors) sitting alone. Go to them with a greeting, Christian hospitality, and the blessing of Christ!