I used to love to sit up on Saturday nights when I was a kid and watch the monster movies...Creature from the Black Lagoon, the Brain That Wouldn't Die, those Japanese movies where the dubbing track didn't even come close to matching up with the words. The one that sticks in my head, though, is Frankenstein. Poor monster. He was afraid and just trying to get away, but the villagers chased him with torches and pitchforks.
Looks a lot like some Christians I've seen.
We who are called to bring Christ's light into the darkness often look more like a bunch of angry villagers, chasing people who are already wounded.
As we begin to wrap up our Reach Your World series, I want you to think about the others. I don't know who that is for you in particular, but we all have them. People who live outside of what we might feel is acceptable. People who are deserving of being called out because they aren't following the rules.
Once you've got your group in your head, I want you to grab your Bible and see who Jesus called out. (Here's a hint: it wasn't the people you might think.) Jesus got into trouble for associating with the ostracized, the outcast, the societal pariahs. And when He did, lives changed. Now if the Pharisees had their way- they were the rule keepers of the generation, the gatekeepers keeping the undesirables out- the real Messiah would have nothing to do with them.
A few years back, WWJD became a buzz-phrase. What Would Jesus Do became the question to ask in any given situation.
I can tell you, He wouldn't be reaching out like the people holding signs on street corners that say "Baby Killers" with his big SUV sporting the fish symbol parked nearby. He wouldn't be protesting a porn convention...He's be in there looking people in the eye, holding out His hand, and leading them to something better. And that family, the one with two dads...I think He'd be the first one bringing banana bread to the door.
If you think you might struggle a bit with others, grab a copy of Permission Granted by Margot Starbuck. In the end, you will realize that we are all others to someone. And that when we chase people with a torch instead of shining the light of Christ into their lives, we are doing more harm than good.
Just love them. Open the door more than a crack and invite them in. Jesus will do the rest.