Making Insiders

I love the first four verses of 1 John chapter one. Verses 3 and 4: We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us.  And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.  We write this to make our joy complete.

Have you ever attended a new school or joined a new team or new club and felt like a complete outsider?  I once heard a friend talk about his mom getting remarried and Christmas at the step-dad’s house only had stockings with his kids’ names on them.  He definitely felt like an outsider.  I think we all have at one time or another.

This reminds me of the Samaritan woman that Jesus meets at the well in John chapter four.  She is drawing water from the well in the middle of the day in the hot sun.  She feels like she is an outsider because she has had five husbands and is currently unmarried, but living with another man.  She is an outsider and wants to go to the well in the middle of the day when no one else will be there – ostensibly so she can avoid dirty looks or comments from the other women of the community who go draw their water early before the sun gets high in the sky.  However, Jesus has quite an exchange with her and ultimately invites her to be part of and have fellowship with God’s family.

He delights to make outsiders into insiders. He rejoices to bend his heart outward to the vilest offenders, and not to leave them outside, but bring them into the sphere of his eternal covenant love.

Brad Gauen

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