At the beginning of the year, our church began an intense focus on discipleship. Every member of our church was encouraged to get a journal, and do the daily reading and Bible Study. The study was written by our staff, and specifically for what our church is focusing on this year.
Every small group is discussing the same lessons each week, and the sermon corresponds to the Scripture reading from the week...so,we are all on the same page, so to speak.
I was excited to find that a section of Scripture for this week's focus included one of my most favorite verses, 1 Corinthians 12:22: "In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary."
And, ya know, you can read that verse, and you can know what it is so special to me.
(It reminds me of Joshua, and his "people")
But I'm also thinking about our young kids, our youth, and our senior adults...who may have been told they are "too young," or "too old," or "too out-of-touch," to have a place in church.
And I'm thinking about the ones who have been incarcerated, Christians, or those who have turned to God and are trying to turn their lives around; and I'm thinking about the unwed mothers who made the choice to keep their babies...and the women who didn't.
I'm thinking about the foster children, the divorced man or woman, the kids from the group home...and the lady who brings the kids from her neighborhood to VBS and they are wild as banshees and don't follow the rules;
I'm thinking about the ones fleeing persecution, or abuse; and I'm thinking about that one person in every class or in every Bible Study or in every church, who drives you nuts because they are so annoying, or difficult, or critical, or uneducated, or dirty...or weird.
I think it is very wise to be cautious and vigilant in many of these situations. Right is right, and sin is sin, there's no question on any of that. Still, if a church is a body of sinners saved by grace, and if the ground is level at the foot of the cross...what about all of these people?
If they are a part of the body, are THEY the "most necessary?" And are THEY welcome in our churches?