Rebels, Rejects, and Underdogs
1 Corinthians 1: 28-29
God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God.
The church is a shifty and shady bunch. We are the broken, the rejected, the laughing stock of the world. We are sinners, failures, and misfits. The refuse of the world cast off and left to fester. Jesus came as a doctor, in pursuit of the sick and dying, administering to them the healing salve of His grace and love.
God takes pleasure in rebels, rejects, and underdogs. He loves to take people who are broken beyond repair and make them into something new, glorious, and stunning. God is in the business of writing inspiring and captivating underdog stories. He chooses us, ungrateful screw ups, and instead of scolding us, He bombards us with relentless waves of undeserved compassion. He waterboards us with affection and acceptance. He dares to look at us, knowing us fully, and believes in us. Not that He believes we could be so much more if we did this or that, but that He believes in us, where we are, in the midst of our mayhem.
The gospel is utter insanity! The perfect, holy, Judge of all the earth foolishly descends from His habitation and willfully chooses to die for a people who pretty much suck at everything, and want nothing to do with Him. This is what He calls a good idea. God is crazy, and His insanity finally affected His mind. The crazy old kook believes that by expressing unrestrained love and commitment to failures like us, that He can make us see what He sees when He looks at us. He is convinced that if we see what we are worth, what He was willing to go through for us, that it will cause the lights to come on, and we will begin to believe that we precious.
God thinks injecting us with copious amounts of pure unfiltered affection will eliminate the haze and self-loathing our failures have inflicted on us. It is this compassion and care that takes what has been distorted in our hearts, and unwinds it. His love brings us back into truth, putting everything else in its proper place.
God uses this love and care to take rejects like us, and turn us into burning torches of divine compassion. Extending the same love and grace that woke us from our nightmare to wake others from theirs. The wise, in all their knowing, are dumbfounded by the relentless barrage of pure affection emanating from the purified hearts of ex-losers like us. Even they can't stand in the presence of His perfect love, and fall face down in thanksgiving and praise.
Your life and mine are underdog stories, stories of those who were cast off and forgotten, and yet who have been found and reborn through the furnace of divine passion. The world scorns us, turns their backs on us, but He never has and never will. He scoops us up and embraces us, healing every hurt and stilling our fearful hearts. We are carriers of His love and grace, torches aflame in the midst of this shadowy existence.
Burn brilliantly my friends!