Daily Gratitude Year 5-Day 356: Today, I am grateful for inclusion.
I always was sad when "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" was excluded from the reindeer games. Children can be cruel. For that matter, so can adults. We love to set up hierarchies and clubs where some are "in" and some are "out". Not very friendly, but it is a reality.
I remember in Kindergarten being excluded because something was wrong with my clothes. Something I didn't even understand at the time. I remember getting notes on my report card because I was much happier playing with the boys, and my teacher felt I needed to play with the girls. Seriously? The boys would build an amazing castle out of the "brick" building blocks and I always got to be queen. Why would I want to play with the girls and share the crown?
We have all had seasons when we feel included; times we've been left out. Isn't it good to know we have a Savior who came as good news to all people.
As indeed he says in Hosea, “Those who were not my people I will call ‘my people,’ and her who was not beloved I will call ‘beloved.’”-Romans 9:25
Soon we will celebrate Christmas. We will exchange gifts with loved ones and share once-a-year holiday meals. Some around the table we wish we could see more often. Others, may test the limits of our grace. Still, each one belongs. Beloved is a beautiful word.
Hosea's story is one of God boldly calling a faithful servant to do something that seemed crazy. Marry a prostitute? It is one of the most unusual love stories in the Bible, but that is what makes it so special. When we are at our darkest... His love wants to find us. When we feel unlovable and excluded, God says, "My beloved, you belong."
Day 22 in a dress, for the cause of Dressember to fight human trafficking, the sex-trade and other modern day slavery.
""...and her who was not beloved I will call ‘beloved.’"
When changed by grace, all things become new. We no longer need to feel excluded or an outsider, because we belong to Him. The stain of our past is washed away by his love, grace and he calls us to belong.
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come." -2 Corinthians 5:17
Today, I am grateful for inclusion.