High school was a John Hughes movie for me, in a lot of ways. Somewhere between The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, and Pretty in Pink/Some Kind of Wonderful, with me often playing a Molly Ringwald role, but without the cute boyfriend while the credits rolled.
There were cliques and definite social borderlines that should never be crossed. And the whole goal was to never be on the radar of the popular crowd who could destroy any kind of good reputation you had with just a word.
Today, a zillion years away from those school halls, I found myself attending a wedding between two geeks, as they would have been called in high school. It was a wonderful day and I enjoyed how the ceremony held so many inside jokes and parts of who the couple were.
Weddings can be great places for people watching and since I only knew the bride, I found myself wondering how the various attendees were connected to the couple. But more than that, I realized how diverse they were.
In mainstream society this would have been a gathering of the margins. Different colors of hair, relationships, and beliefs all came together to celebrate the bride and groom. There was a time, not that long ago, when many of the attendees would have been turned away from the church doors.
Yet, just like this bride and groom invited them all to attend and celebrate their marriage- the Church as the Bride of Christ and Jesus, the ultimate bridegroom, has also invited everyone, including the marginalized and those in the social no man’s land.
Jesus sought out those who were forgotten and ignored by society in His day. He came to tell everyone that His Father has sent Him to bring them in to the family. That no matter what they looked like on the outside or how they felt inside, they mattered to God.
They mattered because they were created by God and He loved them so much He sent Jesus to die in their place (John 3:16-18).
Who do you know on the edges, Best Beloved? Or is it you, who are on the edges? Do you realize how precious you are to God? You are who He loves and calls to come to Him. You are welcome into His family. Don’t worry about if your outside looks nice. It’s about your heart and soul.
It is time to erase the line that separates us from those who are not the same as us. Jesus called us to come and follow Him (Matthew 4:19). If you accept the invitation the celebration of your decision will be held by the angels in Heaven (Luke 15:7)! As believers we are to help draw in those who are on the edges into the middle. The middle of grace, the middle of mercy, the middle of forgiveness. It is Christ who compels us to do this (2 Corinthians 5:14-15).
Let us be compelled to pull in those who are living out on the edges and share this amazing love.