Monday Devotional
Dear Friend,
I recently attended a social gathering where the only person I knew was the host.  The guest list included his longtime friends, new friends, community members and family.  Upon arrival, the host welcomed me and brought me into the room where most people were.  He proceeded to walk me through the room, introducing me to the guests.  In one introduction he told me that this was a friend he had known since elementary school.  Another he introduced as a colleague and explained how they had worked together.  With pride he introduced me to his family members and often said a little anecdote about them…this one is in her second year of college, that one plays basketball, etc. 
I confess I was a bit overwhelmed by these introductions and was having a difficult time remembering the names of those I had met.  Not long thereafter another guest arrived and the host repeated this whole scene.  He welcomed the new arrival and walked him through the room introducing him to everyone present. 
First, I appreciated the introductions and found several conversation starters among these people I had never met.  Secondly, I was very taken by the kind words he had for everyone there, myself included.  His words indicated how grateful he was for each person being in his life and his sincere hope that they would enjoy one another’s company as much as he enjoyed theirs.
His hospitality reminded of the words of Rosabeth Moss Kanter, a Professor at the Harvard Business School.  She stated, “The most radical thing we can do is introduce people to one another.  New conversations and new connections spark innovation.”  She is speaking from the context of the business world, but I believe this is true on a much deeper level.  Introducing people to one another isn’t only about innovation.  It is about building community.  It is about connecting people for mutual support and encouragement.  It is, I daresay, a holy endeavor.  Maybe innovation is a natural byproduct since new communities and new friendships are the breeding ground for fresh possibilities.
In some ways, the social gathering was a mirror of what the church can be at its best.  We are a place where people can be welcomed and received with warmth.  The church is a place where new, and sometimes unlikely, friendships can be formed.  The church is the place where the Host proudly introduces us to one another saying, “I want you to meet this person…she is a wonderful person, he is a kind soul, they are good friends to me and may be for you as well.”
Let us give thanks for those meaningful relationships and let us endeavor to engage in the radical and holy task of introducing people to one another.