The Mayan city of Tulum, Source: Wikipedia

Earlier this month, Anne and I were blessed to take a quick break and travel to Mexico with some friends.  The weather was warm and sunny and the resort that hosted us had embraced the kind of Covid protocols that kept us safe throughout our stay.  One day we ventured away from the resort and visited the site of the ancient Mayan city of Tulum, now a national park.  On a whim and to avoid standing in the long line to buy tickets, we accepted the invitation of a tour guide to join the group she was forming of English-speaking tourists. 

For $10 each we skipped the line and spent about 45 minutes walking through the site as our guide described the history of this walled city and the culture and people that had civilized it in the centuries before.  She pointed out architectural features of the homes and temples, explaining the meanings of the painted walls and stone carvings.  She was a delightful ambassador for the cultural heritage of her country and visiting with her was a highlight of our adventure that day.

When was the last time that you visited with a stranger, something beyond just an exchange of greetings?  Our pandemic challenges have likely made such interactions less frequent but think of a time when you had the opportunity to learn even a part of someone else’s story.  What surprised you?  What piqued your curiosity?

Our story last Sunday described how Nicodemus’ curiosity about Jesus led him to make a nighttime visit to learn more.  The story continues this week with another interaction between strangers (seemingly) as they find each other in the middle of the day at a well.  Jesus, weary from his travels, asks for a drink from a woman who has come to fill her jar.  The time together and the conversation they share lead the woman into a very different future.  Taking an interest in the stranger even leads the woman to extend a familiar invitation to her neighbors to “come & see.”

There’s an interesting conversation with a stranger just waiting for you today.  May you find them and find God’s peace as well.  -Pastor Peter

Let us pray… God of curiosity, reveal yourself to us in the strangers we meet.  Inspire us to remain interested in the stories of others, keeping open to the possibility that our own stories might be enriched and shaped as a result.  Amen.