Reading: Romans 11: 6-36
The In Crowd
From James Dean in Rebel without a Cause to Ellen Page in Juno Hollywood has made a cinematic killing featuring outsiders and underdogs. That's because whether you grew up in an immigrant home or seemed to fit in wherever you went, there is something in all of us that identifies with the outcast.
Christianity itself is an invitation to the outcast. The Jews, being God's chosen people, cast out their Messiah and Lord, and so His good news was offered to us, the Gentiles, who were once excluded from it. But this story is better than anything Hollywood could produce, because it is a story of redemption for all who embrace Christ. Paul's warning to us in Romans 11:22 is that we not begin to think of ourselves as the in-group. There is no "in" outside of faith in the kindness of God.
What messages do we take every day to the people who need Christ? Are they about our opinions, our causes and our culture? Or do they reflect our reverence for the kindness of God? Do we welcome the outcasts (those who don't meet our standards)? What difference would it make to them if we lived as if the only "in" that mattered was "in Christ"?