Last night, I attended a Christmas party for a Christian organization in our city that I support. The party was potluck, with the host supplying the meat. Our host, my good friend Nick Howard, has been a missionary in Germany. He has what most of us would consider an adventurous culinary taste...thanks to Nick, I often get to try new kinds of food. So last night, Nick brought meat from the only Bosnian restaurant in Houston. He was pretty vague as to what kind of meat it was...although I'm pretty sure some of it was chicken (but then again, doesn't most meat taste like chicken? Hmm...). It was delicious.
It was a reminder that we live in a very international city here in Houston. Sure, there's good ol' Tex-Mex on every corner, and you can still find Texas-style barbecue easily enough. But you can also enjoy cuisine from just about anywhere on the planet without leaving the city limits. You can also hear just about any language spoken here in our town. That doesn't just make this an interesting place to live. It means the mission field has come to our doorstep.
Most people prefer the company of others who are like them. It's why neighborhoods and churches are often segregated. But God so loved the whole world that He sent His one and only Son to die...and that love compels us to love people who may not be like us at all. This Sunday, as we continue our Advent focus on John 3:16, we'll look at 2 Corinthians 5:16-21, at the profound sense of responsibility we have for our neighbors. See you there.