Sometimes when you move into a new ward (congregation) it seems like there are cliques of people who have been there forever and they're just not looking to accept new applicants at this time. It's hard to feel like you're on the outside or on the fringes of a group, wanting friendship and fellowship but being ignored. We may automatically start judging the groups and thinking that they're snobs, or unfriendly, or even downright rude.
It's not until we've stuck around long enough to have gotten into one of these groups that we realize that many of those people have simply been protecting themselves. The wall they've built isn't to keep people out, it's to protect from the pain of saying goodbye. It's hard to welcome someone, start to get to know them, learn to really love them, and then watch them leave. Some days it's much easier to gather with the group of friends who have been around "forever" and not open yourself up to someone new.
Unfortunately, both sides lose when we do that. Not only do we miss out on the opportunity to be a friend to someone who may need us at that particular point, but we also deprive ourselves of the blessing of having that person in our life. Sometimes the people who will mean the most will be those who are only in our lives for a brief time.
So if you've ever found yourself holding back from getting to know someone new, think about how you would feel if you were in their shoes. Think about how scary and lonely it can be to be the new kid on the block. It doesn't get much easier just because you're a grown-up. Think about how much it's meant to you when someone has met you in a situation like that and has befriended you. Even if you didn't become best friends, I would bet that you still feel gratitude and love for that person.
We can't really let God's light shine through us if we block it off with a wall. Take a chance; welcome others; love even though it might hurt. That's what Jesus would do.