Habitually therefore give one another a friendly reception, just as Christ also has received you, and thus promote the glory of God.Romans 15:7 Weymouth NT
Yesterday I took my dog, Riley, to the vet for a vaccination. He was a little nervous, since the last time he was there he saw a new vet that he didn’t like. She wasn’t mean, but she was very businesslike, walking in, doing the job (with lots of help to restrain Riley), and getting on to the next stop. This time, however, our usual vet was there. She came in, knelt in the floor, rubbed Riley’s face, and talked to him. He loved it. He still didn’t like the exam, but he was significantly more at ease and cooperative. It was easier for her to help him.
When we go to church today, let’s go a little early. Let’s find someone who looks ill at ease, a little bit nervous, and give them a handshake and a “howdy.” If it seems appropriate, take a moment to chat. The gathering of the saints is a family thing, not just a delivery of religious goods and services. Communicating acceptance and care is part of the process. We can all do something to help others feel more at ease, to bring down the walls and help them receive what God has for them from the Word and the Spirit.