A new believer recently attended our worship service. He had long, multicolored, spiked hair. He dressed in dark clothes and had multiple piercings and tattoos. Some gaped; others just gave him that “It’s good to see you in church, but please don’t sit next to me” smile. Yet there were some during the greeting time who went out of their way to welcome and accept him. They were bridge builders.
As the first green heads of grain formed on the spring barley in Israel, workers would tie a ribbon around each budding stem to set them apart from the still immature barley. When this marked grain ripened, it was harvested for the temple in Jerusalem because God had commanded that when they came to the feast, they should “not appear before the Lord empty-handed” (Deut. 16:16).