No Longer Strangers

Kathryn Tack, Guest Writer, South Barrington | April 20, 2023

So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets.  Christ Jesus Himself being the cornerstone, in Whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord.  

Ephesians 2:19-21

While visiting friends in Kentucky, I attended their bible study after church service. I’ll never forget it. 

Homemade blueberry pie with ice cream was served, and while we all devoured the delicious surprise, we were introduced to new members. One young woman stood out to me. She introduced herself and then said, “Thank you for inviting me. I am a stranger here to this church and not part of this group, but I’ve heard your testimonies of Jesus. I came tonight because I want to know Jesus just like all of you.” People smiled, and the pastor went on to another introduction. Everyone continued to eat. 

My heart stopped. “Wait. Did you hear what she said,” I mumbled to myself. She no longer wanted to be a stranger. She wanted to become a member of the family of God. As a visitor to the group, I didn’t want to intrude, but my heart was pounding fast. I felt the Holy Spirit urging me to speak. I jumped from my chair and said, “This woman came tonight so that she could come to know Jesus. Can we deny her that gift?” Before I knew it, people were crying as the pastor prayed over her to accept Christ as her personal Savior. She was no longer a stranger but now a fellow citizen with us in Christ.

Almost every one of us has felt like an outsider, a stranger, at one time or another. At an early age, kids decide who is cool and who isn’t, who is an insider and who is an outsider. But in the family of God, there are no insiders or outsiders. When we draw near and admit who we are as strangers, alienated from God because of our sin, He adopts us into His forever family as His child and brings us near.  

Next Steps 

  • The impact we have on others’ lives in showing them Christ’s love begins with three simple words: “I see you.” Can you think of a time when someone showed Christ’s love to you so that you no longer felt like a stranger?
  • Think of a time when someone has demonstrated Christlikeness to you and you determined that you wanted that for yourself. Reach out to that person this week, thanking them for setting an example of Christlikeness for you to follow so you are no longer a foreigner but a citizen of God’s kingdom.