"Passion and Compassion" Stuart Jones There’s an old idiom called “circling the wagons” that people do when they face trying circumstances. Circling the wagons means that we close in amongst ourselves to where we are shoulder to shoulder with each other seeking to insulate ourselves from the outside. We stop communicating and having interactions with people not in our group as a means of staying strong and safe. This theory of “circling the wagons” doesn’t work well for churches, however. Being a follower of Jesus takes more than just standing together and being holed up in the church reading our Bibles, and praying. As Christians, we are called to serve our communities and to be a positive influence to those around us. Matthew 25:40 says The King will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Christians in churches sometimes have a tendency to be cynical of those outside of the church. We may develop mistrust and a general lack of goodwill toward folks who haven’t accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior. But our Lord calls his church to be an inviting place that is willing to share with and give aid and instruction to all…regardless of their background, former beliefs and practices, appearances, or needs. Former President George Bush once said “I take as my guide the hope of a saint: in crucial things, unity…in important things, diversity…in all things, generosity.” Let us be united and generous with all.