Sunday, February 26, 2006

Acceptance AND inclusion

This morning at church, Alec spoke about acceptance AND inclusion. Basically, we need to follow Jesus' lead and accept people where they are now and not accept them in anticipation of what they may/ will become. He developed Andrea's thought from last week and included inclusion into the mix. Its not enough to accept people for who/ what they are... we need to get involved in their lives. This really meant something to me and allowed me to reflect on my present experience. This blog has, in my view, been accepted by a lot of people as representing a "whole-of-me" view of me... I would have never done this if I didn't feel the support and acceptance in doing it. It has opened doors to conversations on things like my faith that I never would have had. Your acceptance of my whole-of-life view and, to be honest, my own acceptance has allowed me to open up and include all my friends in all my life. I am free to talk about any part of my life to anyone and that is a tremendous liberty that I will not waste.

By being included, I can include...
Passing along, Jesus saw a man at his work collecting taxes. His name was Matthew. Jesus said, "Come along with me." Matthew stood up and followed him.

Later when Jesus was eating supper at Matthew's house with his close followers, a lot of disreputable characters came and joined them. When the Pharisees saw him keeping this kind of company, they had a fit, and lit into Jesus' followers. "What kind of example is this from your Teacher, acting cozy with crooks and riff-raff?"

Jesus, overhearing, shot back, "Who needs a doctor: the healthy or the sick? Go figure out what this Scripture means: "I'm after mercy, not religion.' I'm here to invite outsiders, not coddle insiders."
Matthew 9:9-13 (The Message)

Jesus want us to show mercy and not religion... Acceptance and inclusion are part of His mercy - treating people as people... He called a Tax Collector and hung out with his friends. He called Matthew and not only accepted him but included him... and his friends - He acted cozy with crooks and riff-raff! He didn't wait until they became "acceptable" in others eyes.

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