The Tie That Binds

Bruce Menning

READ : Romans 16:1-16

Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you. (v. 16)

There are jobs for expatriates in Oman working in the medical services the government provides for its citizens. Many of these workers come from India and many are also Christians. They send their salaries to the families they’ve left behind in order to raise their standard of living. Separated from families for months and even years, they are also isolated within the country. The Protestant Church of Oman provides pastoral services to these Christians who are scattered in remote places in Oman’s rugged interior.

I was traveling with a pastor calling on secluded enclaves of believers. Late in the afternoon, we motored up a wadi and into a canyon of striated sandstone carved out by eons of wind and water. The canyon housed a medical clinic staffed by Indian doctors and nurses serving the population within a 50-mile radius. For over five months they had had no contact with other Christians. The all too short occasion was a cherished time to read the Bible, pray for loved ones far away, and simply enjoy the fellowship of brothers and sisters in Christ.

I’ll never again take for granted the privilege of living in community with friends in Christ. Jesus is “the tie that binds our hearts in Christian love.”


Lord, I’m grateful today for the love of the Christian community to which you’ve led me. Amen.