Outcasts, aliens and misfits. Moses straddles two worlds. He is the adopted Hebrew son of an Egyptian queen and then a criminal on the run. He has carried the pain of the alienation on his journey; it is heard when he names his firstborn Gershom, for “I have been an alien residing in a foreign land.” Exodus 2:22
Job is drowning in sorrow, forsaken by God and man:
“He has stripped my glory from me and taken the crown from my head…He has put my family far from me, and my acquaintances are wholly estranged from me. My relatives and close friends failed me; the guests in my home have forgotten me.” Job 19:9…13
He clings to the surety of God’s love; this prevents him from being overcome by punishing waves of sorrow, loneliness and pain:
“I know that my Redeemer lives, and that at last he will stand upon the earth; and after my skin has been thus destroyed, then in my flesh I shall see God, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. My heart faints within me!” Luke 19:25-27
Jesus reaches out to those who are despised and rejected. You can hear the derision in the words of the Pharisees and scribes:
“Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” Luke 5:30
It’s for the rejected and needy that Jesus stands up:
“Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; I have come to call not the righteous but sinners to repentance.” Luke 5:31
At one time or another, we are all the middle schooler sitting alone in the crowded lunchroom, the refugee, the homeless, the forgotten. Christ opens his arms and invites himself into our lives and our homes. He was despised and rejected so that I would not know separation from God.
Paul invites me to abandon the crowd mentality and the futile living that threatens to wall me off from joy of knowing Christ. He tells me that I am a temple of the living God. As God said,
“I will live in them and walk among them, and will be their God, and they shall be my people. Therefore come out from them, and be separated from them, says the Lord, and touch nothing unclean: then I will welcome you, and I will be your father, and you shall be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty. 1 Corinthians 6:16-18
Lord of all creation, thank you that you humble yourself and pursue me. Jesus, thank you for taking the rejection, pain and sorrow that belonged to me so I would not be separated from you. Show me the parts of my life that I hold back so that I might repent and surrender all that I am to you. For you are my Father and I am your daughter. Show me what it means to live for you you today. Amen.