He is a church leader from Kitwe, Zambia, we're church leaders from Coventry, England, and we have the kingdom of God in common.
Of course, as the afternoon went by, we discovered we had much in common on the natural human level as well. The fact that we were human was a good start. And the fact that we have children who we have dreams for; the fact we like rowing down the River Avon, but aren't very good at it; the fact that we'd rather not get wet in the English rain; the fact that laughter is funny and leads to more laughter; the fact that we think Warwick town centre looks pretty...
We also discovered some things that we didn't have in common - and profited by them. Like listening to him talk about the plain reality of witchcraft in his continent. He commented that over here the whole danger of the occult is far more underhand and subtle and mentioned Harry Potter books, which convince children that witchraft is (fictional and) fun. I stayed silent about that fact that I've read all six and am looking forward to number seven. And I wondered - have I swallowed some of the lethargic draught of the rest of my culture. I was challenged (but will I be able to resist number seven?)
But, to return to my main reflection: brotherhood ties - and the brotherhood that Jesus brings is stronger than any other I know.
In Christ's family there can be no division into Jew and non-Jew, slave and free, male and female. Among us you are all equal. That is, we are all in a common relationship with Jesus Christ. (Galatians 3:28, The Message)
(Read about our previous encounter: Ebony black and salmon pink)