Take a look at the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 21. Jesus tells a story that points out that we possess not one thing. Everything that we have is on lease from God. We are “renters,” not owners.
When we think we own something, we believe that we are in control. We (easily) forget that even the breath we draw next is a gift from God.
The Pharisees, trying to test Jesus, are feeling insulted.
Jesus then knocks them off their holy pedestal. He calmly claims that He is the chief cornerstone. That He is the foundation of all religious understanding. He is more important (knowledgeable) than Moses or Elijah and all the prophets.
Not only that, but those that are considered rejects by the “righteous” will be the first to enter the kingdom of heaven. Those on the outskirts of society — lepers, tax collectors, women with no other means of support than to sell their bodies, and especially the widows and the orphans.
Bring this declaration forward a couple of thousand years. Jesus, the foundation of our deepest understanding of the character of God, suggests that all of those we think of as outcasts are, in fact, much more favored than we are.
God loves them — the homeless, the refugees, the asylum seekers, all the poor, blacks (whose lives certainly matter), women, gay men and women … whoever we (falsely) think are lower class, out-casts, beneath us. Watch carefully! Jesus tells us that anyone we meet could be an angel in disguise, bringing us a message from God.
Do you realize, deep down, that you are not in control of anything? That everything you have is on loan?
Is Jesus the foundation upon which you build your life? Or do you believe more in money and privilege?
Do you respect all those whom you meet during the day? Do you think of them as messengers from God?
Do you listen carefully to see what you can learn from them?
Do you thank God for causing them to enter your awareness? Is Jesus your chief rock on which you stand?
Dear Lord, help us to respect everyone with whom we come in contact. We, they, are all Your children. Grant that we may love as You love. So let it be!
Offered by Rev. Dr. Frank Johnson
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