Recently at our Bible studies and worship services I have been emphasizing the importance of interacting with others – “engaging” people – whenever we have the opportunity. In truth, those opportunities are almost endless. Every day we come into contact with others – maybe many times a day. These are opportunities to show we care and to make people feel valued, by greeting them and engaging them in conversation. It sometimes can lead to witnessing to our faith in Jesus Christ!
Such encounters are sometimes initiated by the other person. In those cases, all we need to do is to be willing to listen and to respond – to give the other person some of our time and attention. Other times, we will initiate the encounter ourselves. That can require that we be a little more daring – especially when interacting with a stranger. But taking that risk can result in rich adventures and in making new acquaintances. It can be your chance to be a blessing.
And then there are accidental encounters. Recently I sent a group text message to our choir members, letting them know when our next rehearsal would be. And I accidentally also sent it to a friend of mine, Pastor Jim Lehmann, who lives almost 200 miles from here. He responded, saying, “Sorry, but I won’t make it to choir practice that day!” Realizing my mistake, I called him. Not only did we have a good laugh about it; it also gave me some fun conversation material to share with a young couple who have started worshipping with us, who were recently married by Pastor Lehmann!
Of course, what may seem like accidents to us are not accidental at all for God. The Holy Spirit is behind all blessed human encounters, no matter who initiates them. (See Acts 8:26ff, and many other examples in the Book of Acts.) Be ready for the Spirit to lead you into such moments! And consider finishing those conversations with a heartfelt, “God bless you!”
Sincerely in Christ,
Pastor Carl L.M. Rasmussen