When someone feels welcomed, there is a beautiful change that happens. They move from guarded and outcast, to open and loved. There is something that changes in a person when they go from feeling like “outside” the group to being a part of it. They are more accepting and willing to listen. Where there were once walls, there are now bridges.
Jesus was a great wall breaker and an ever greater bridge builder. He worked his way into some of the most guarded hearts. He made friends with some of the most outcast people. He broke down the walls and built a bridge, and people’s lives were changed because of it. Mary went from a prostitute to dedicated follower. Matthew went from vile tax collector to generous follower of Jesus. When the estranged are welcomed and loved, they change.
We strive to be a community that invites people in. Not because we just want them to be here, and not because we agree with every dot and moment of their lives but because God loves them; so we welcome them. It’s that kind of love that changes people’s lives.
Who do you need to accept as they are?