I was nauseous and tingly all over. I was either in love or I had smallpox. – Woody Allen
A lot of people in our churches feel like lepers – untouchable and unlovable. No, we don't build leper colonies anymore (officially), but so many among us feel like outcasts nonetheless, as if there is an invisible barrier that separates them from the body of Christ.
- The divorced know this feeling. In evangelical churches they know what it feels like to be an outcast, and it's tragic and sad.
- Those who are not physically completely whole, know this feeling.
- People who have jobs their whole lives – and now find themselves unemployed – do, too.
- Those who are less educated than others, know this feeling.
- Unmarried mothers really know this feeling! They see the looks, they see parents directing their children away from them, they feel it.
- The depressed, the terminally ill, those with AIDS. Terrified to tell anyone, they keep their heads low because they fear further rejection.
Jesus speaks into these feelings and needs with a simple command:
"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another." – John 13:34
Listen, our society has neighborhoods for immigrants. We have homes for the elderly. We have schools for the simple. We have centers for the addicted. We have prisons for the criminals, and everyone else tries to get away from it all, as far as they can. The church doesn't have that option! We are designed to work as the body of Christ reaching through the barriers to touch the deepest need.
We are branded by authentic Christian love. Hurting people on the fringe of the Body are waiting to see it, and they are desperate to receive it.
O Lord, by the prompting and the power of Your Spirit, give me the willingness to break through the barrier of awkwardness that surrounds so many of the unloved people around me. Put one precious person in my path today who needs to experience Your love through me. Amen.
Listen to Pete, Jill & Stuart Briscoe on the Telling the Truth broadcast at OnePlace.com
The Best of 2015 is a collection of the 6 most requested messages of 2015 from Pete, Stuart, and Jill Briscoe, and it speaks into difficult topics that challenge many believers. Start the new year with renewed clarity and confidence with this eye-opening CD set!