Thursday, July 20, 2006

Belonging

John 1:10-11 (New International Version)
He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.

A few days ago I wrote, "I know that it's his (God's) longing to reach every life, through those of us who know him," and that I was struggling to understand how to "cross the great divide, the gulf that separates me (I should have said, "God") from the souls of the people whose paths cross mine."

John 1:10-11 (above) came to mind as I continued to think and pray about that. Imagine what lies below the surface of those words.

Most of us have a circle of people to whom we're connected by certain ties. With them we are accepted, we belong, simply because of the bonds of family, friendship and shared history or experience.

Imagine arriving at an airport. Your eyes scan the faces of the waiting crowd in the arrivals lounge. You spot faces of people you love, that you know intimately, but their eyes look right past you with no glimmer of recognition. Would it feel as though there was a "gulf that separates?"

Imagine the loneliness, the alienation that Jesus must have felt. The next verses though(12-13), continue:

Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God - children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or husband's will, but born of God.

And consider these words of Jesus from John 17:8-9 (New International Version)

For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours.

Prayer: Lord thank you for speaking so clearly through your word, answering some of the questions of my heart. Dear Lord, I pray for the wolrdl you came to die for and to save.

John 17: 20 (New International Version)
My prayer is not for them alone, I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message.

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