Q: One of the families in our apartment complex is from a country with a different religion from ours. Do you think they’d be offended if we invited them to have Christmas dinner with us? I’m not sure what we’d talk about, but they seem kind of lonely. — K.N.
A: I doubt if they would be offended; in fact, they might be delighted to be in your home and learn more about your family. The Bible says, “Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling” (1 Peter 4:9).
After all, it’s unfortunate when people from other countries come to our shores but are never welcomed into our homes or have any opportunity to get to know us. What will be their impressions of our country? Every year thousands of students from other countries study in our universities, while countless others come on business or as tourists, or even as refugees fleeing the horrors of war and famine. We send missionaries to these countries (and we should) — and yet here we have a mission field on our own doorstep.
If they do come for dinner, ask God to help you welcome them and make them feel at home. In addition, if you have the opportunity, explain to them what Christmas means and why we celebrate it. They may know very little about Jesus, and you may find them very eager to learn. The Bible says, “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone” (Colossians 4:6).
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Even if they decide not to come, your invitation might open the door to other opportunities to get to know them. If so, I hope you’ll take advantage of this. God wants to use you not only to be their friends, but also to point them to Jesus.
Write to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201 or visit www.billygraham.org.