Date: Tuesday, February 25
Scripture: Romans 15:7-13
Verse: For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the circumcised on behalf of the truth of God in order that he might confirm the promises given to the patriarchs, and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. (Romans 15:8-9a)
We yearn to belong, but many of us struggle to find that place of belonging. We have moved, due to jobs or school, away from our extended families and oldest friendships – the people most likely to accept us as we are. Even if we have not moved, our circle of belonging has changed because of the moves of others. Oh, we have lots of Facebook friends, people we greet in the halls, co-workers or fellow students with whom we might chat about the weather or the Olympics, but very few, if any, people we can look in the eyes and pour out our hearts, share our fears, or even celebrate our greatest joys. We need to build a network of people who welcome us as we are, and whom we welcome into our lives. We need to belong. It sounds simple enough, but, sadly, it is not.
Today’s passage reminds us we already have a place where we belong. Christ has welcomed us into his family, formed us into a church. This is a place of belonging, or should be. The key once we have become connected, is then to extend to others the welcome we have received, even those who are vastly different from us. Think about your family. I’m sure there are some with whom you belong, but you would never have chosen. The same is true in the church. Maybe that is why the New Testament often refers to us as brothers and sisters – people we might not have chosen, but to whom we are connected anyway.
The beauty of family reunions is knowing this is the place where you belong. May you and I find that place of belonging at times other than the reunion, and may we offer it to others.
Prayer: Thank you, Lord Jesus, for accepting me as I am. Show me others who need to feel that same sense of belonging, and give me the courage to extend a welcoming hand. Amen.
Action: Work to foster deeper relationship of close connection and welcome, where you belong and you make others feel they belong as well.
Respond: Where do you belong? Answer by clicking “Leave a Comment” below.
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Miller, Will, and Glenn Grayson. Sparks. Refrigerator Rights: Our Crucial Need for Close Connection. Barrington, IL: Willow Creek, 2008. Print.