Joining the People of God

Text: 1 Peter 2:10
Once you were not a people,
   but now you are God’s people;
once you had not received mercy,
   but now you have received mercy.
(NRSV)

One of the most prolific problems with our youth is the feeling of being an outsider.  There is a high level of bullying, rejection, and exclusion among our children.  One of the productive recruiting methods of gangs within our urban centers is to provide acceptance to the youth who are experiencing all the above. The church, however, seems to have the reputation of judging our youth causing them to feel even more rejected and excluded.  

What an amazing thing it would be if we modeled Jesus’ method of attracting those who were being pushed out and excluded by the religious leaders of his day.  Jesus invited the broken and the hurting to be in relationship with him.  Jesus accepted the invitation of those whom his religion considered sinners to join them at dinner parties.

As the result of Jesus’ example of unconditional love, those outside of relationship with God were invited to become part of the new church established by the disciples of Jesus Christ.  Peter writes, “Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people…”  By these words, Peter is demonstrating that those who had been excluded were now a part of God’s people.

How can we better draw those who have been excluded by our culture into a relationship with God through his church?  How can those who feel unloved know the love of God through those who follow in the footsteps of Jesus?  In what way can you draw others into a relationship with Jesus who have felt pushed away by the world?

Pray with me:

God of love and God of acceptance teach me how to reach out to those who feel as if they do not belong.  Empower me with your love that I may share that love with others drawing them into a relationship with you so that those who were not a people are now your people.  AMEN.

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