Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Yesterday I wrote about inclusion of children with special needs in education and community organizations.  Writing it made me think of Jesus and His simple call to us “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." (Matt 11:28).  Come.  Simple.  Honest.

We as believers, we have accepted this invitation.  To lay our old selves down and accept Christ's peace and grace into our lives.  We sit in our pews nicely each week, listen to the sermon and drive home.  Some of us may attend a weekly study.  Some may volunteer in other church groups.  We do this week in and week out and feel good about ourselves.  Then someone different  comes to our church.  Someone a bit gruff, a bit grungy, too ethnic, in a wheelchair, with a cane, etc...    We look away.  We don't engage.  We avoid this "tumor" that has entered into our presence.  Why? Because they are different.  They make us uncomfortable.  They make us look at ourselves and our own prejudices.  So we make them uncomfortable and they don't return.  Sound familiar?

I hate to admit that I have done this.  I have sat in judgment over someone without knowing their story.  Without knowing their struggles.  I have also been on the other end.  The person who was different.  Believe me if you could crawl under a pew, I would have done so.  Why do we do this?  As believers we are called to love each other.  We are called to care for the widows and orphans and poor.  My "evil twin" refers to this as loving the unloveables.  Instead of following His commands, we judge and in do so we are no better than the Pharisees.

While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and “sinners” came and ate with him and his disciples.  When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and ‘sinners’?”

On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.  But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Matthew 9: 10-13 NIV 84)

Did you see that?  Jesus came for ALL.  God wants ALL of His children.  Not just those who have already believe, but also for His "messy, mixed up" children.  His imperfect, hurting children.

Jesus also admonishes the Pharisees for their judgment  when He says "go and learn what this means."   What are the implications for us as believers.  We are to love one another.  We are to go out on that limb of faith and help those who are sick in spirit.  Those who are hurting.  Those that God is still seeking.  We need to open the doors of our churches and "feed" those that need to be feed without judgments.

Church should be our starting point for all inclusion.  We should think of it as a place where ALL are welcome, instead of having a policy of "No shoes, No Shirt, No Service." 

I am linking up with the Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood today at Finding Heaven.


Kim said...

Nicely written.

Church is indeed the right place to welcome all.

Your blog is lovely.

Courtney said...

Well said.

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Alberta, Canada
I'm a 39 year old (oh yeah I'm telling you my age) Stay at Home mom. A former Bad Girl now reformed sinner, I'm married to my Y2K guy and raising 3 great children from God. Proudly Canadian, however, missing the West Coast, I currently live in the prairies watching the farmers fields produce as I learn how God produces the fruits in me.

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