How do you relate to those who are different from you?
Did you know, there is a church in America called The Scum of the Earth? Their idea is to reach out to people who might not feel as if they fit in another church because they would think that they are not good enough, mostly because other people haven’t treated them well. And they say “ More important to us, however, the name implies that being people of faith does not mean we are better than anyone else. We know many non-Christians who think Christians are out to cast judgment on them. Our name makes it clear that we aren’t about that. We are just aware of our need for God, as Scum of the Earth. Fortunately, God never sees us like that!” see scumoftheearth.net for more information.
The thing is, being a Christian is hard sometimes. It’s not about looking good or having nice things. It’s all about Jesus and the transformation he brings to us. It’s not about being “holier than thou” or judgey or preachy, but about being close to God. We are all sinners in equal need of Jesus, no matter who we are or what we have done.
For Paul, being a Christian was often very uncomfortable. It brought him hardship, prison, persecution, embarrassment but much joy in there. The Corinthians had been seeking glory for themselves. They had been wanting everything perfect just for them. But they had missed the point. They had spent so long avoiding being the scum of the earth that they were missing Jesus.
Lord God, we thank you that the doors of your kingdom are open to all. We pray for those who feel left out or on the edges of things and we pray that we would be open and welcoming to all those who aren’t like us who we know. Amen.
Is there anyone who you can reach out to today to demonstrate God’s love for them?