Read: Romans 9:6-13 and Psalm 145:8-9, 14-21
St. Paul is trying to make the point that we’re not part of the Kingdom because of our genetics (who our parents are, or whether we’re descended from Abraham and Isaac and Jacob), but that we’ve been adopted into the family through Jesus’ death and resurrection. While we do understand and believe this (the majority of us aren’t Jewish, after all), we can sometimes fall into the same line of thinking.
Sometimes we get this “us versus them” mentality, as though people who aren’t part of our church are somehow not good enough to become members of it. In fact, sometimes we even get to where we think that if someone’s parents and grandparents weren’t members, he or she shouldn’t be allowed to be, either.
Oh, we never admit it aloud. We never let on that we actually think this. In fact, we tend to lie to ourselves about it. But whenever someone new comes in we watch to see if they will vote the same way as everyone else, dress the same way, and act the same way. When they start to show they have a difference in opinion, we want to run them off. Worst of all is when it’s the pastor we’re trying to get rid of!
Do you have an “us versus them” mentality about church? How about the rest of your church? Have you ever tried to get someone to leave just because they dressed or acted or voted differently from you and everyone else? Take some time to pray about this. Write your own prayer.