Throughout the Gospels we see Jesus doing the same. Jesus not only attracted but invited and reached out to the poor, the sick, the sinner and the social outcast. His message of God’s deep and profound love for all of us was most strikingly demonstrated in his care and concern for those who were marginalized by his society. He continually reached out to and raised up “the least ones” of his society. Often enough they were people who others found a bit uncomfortable to be around…they were not the ones given seats of honor at banquets or at synagogues; they were the ones that most people would cross to the other side of the street to avoid contact with them.
It’s completely understandable that we all want our lives to be prosperous and neat and tidy and full of agreeable people, people “like us”, but what do we do when “other things happen” and “other folks” show up—the same kinds of marginal situations and people Jesus himself loved and welcomed? In the midst of so much division, hurt and anger in our country and in our church, how is the Holy Spirit calling me to respond?