You probably have similar remembrances of those moments you've walked into a place unsure of who you'd sit with, what would happen, how you'd be treated, and if would you be accepted. Those are often moments of anxiety and even fear. Yet, when we look back on some of those same moments we realize that they were often the beginnings of new and exciting chapters in our lives: new careers, new relationships, new opportunities, new directions, or new moments of learning.
Matt Martin has reminded me, on more than one occasion, that he's a new guy, too. Often, that happens when I whisper a question about the name of someone standing across the hallway. We're both wanting our 'newness' to work as permission to get more time to meet and get to know everyone.
All of us came to Bonaire as the new person, at one point or another. Despite Mrs. Kay's insistence that she's been here all her life - which is true - even she arrived (as an infant) not knowing what to expect. It's a good reminder for all of us that every Sunday (or any day, really) brings new people who walk through our doors unsure of what to expect. So, our own experiences of being the new person are guides to the simple acts of greeting people, introducing yourself, and extending a hand. Every moment we can treat someone as we ourselves have wanted to be treated we are living out Jesus' commandments:
Matthew 7:12 - "In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.
Matthew 22:39 - "You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'
Speaking for Matt and myself, you've welcomed our families with such grace. Thank you. May we welcome the next family, and the next, and the next, in the same manner!
Grace and peace, Scott