"Accept one another"
“Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.” (Romans 15:7 NIV)Have you ever felt like an outcast? How about lonely? Picked last as a kid in gym class for the dodgeball game? Being on the outside hurts when you want so badly to be on the inside. As a kid, I certainly was not the fastest, smartest, or best looking, and I usually was left outside the group of “insiders” at D.K. Lien Elementary School in Amery.
I am pretty sure we have all been there. Outside something we wanted to be a part of. Outside of a school we didn’t get accepted to, a relationship we didn’t enter, a community that wouldn’t take us. St. Paul spent his entire ministry bringing "outside" people into the church. In his letter to the Romans, Paul wrote “accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you…” To the church, this is a classic apostolic command from Paul.
But, the ban is about excluding people. Does it fulfill what Paul wrote? Where is your church with that question? Where are you in your answer?
Many of us have spent years on the outside of the church waiting to be let in. Will the church of today be the one that follows Paul’s wisdom “in order to bring praise to God”? I pray so.
“Eternal God, you have called us each by name unto you. We pray that your church will heed your calling and fully accept your sons and daughters into your church bringing praise to you. Amen.”Peace,