Yesterday I went to the seminary. As I made my way to the library a man younger than me, and it’s getting so that who isn’t younger than me, asked, “Can I help you with some directions?” “No, I graduated from here 50 years ago.” Actually its only 48 years and five months ago. The man was dressed in a suit, I was in a shirt and shorts carrying a book bag. I assume he was a professor. But afterward I thought, “Did I look that disheveled or confused? Did I look lost?”
One of the things we find in church is that we are criticized for not being friendly enough. So people have sought to introduce themselves to those they don’t know. Then many have discovered that the “stranger” turns out to be a founding member of the church.
Recently, an African American family sat down in the pew I was occupying. I liked the feel of that. I miss the African Americans that worshipped at Immanuel Chapel where I was for four and a half years. A teenage boy sat next to me and I helpfully showed him where we were in the service. But when we went to communion and the family knew the procedure it dawned on me that I was helping a young man who knew very well what was going on. He didn’t need any directions. (See first paragraph above.) They probably attended a different service.
Last Sunday we sang during communion,
One bread, one cup, one body we,
Rejoicing in our unity,
Proclaim Your love until You come
To bring Your scattered loved ones homes.
Though we may fumble our way with strangers, in Christ we are one and not strangers to him.