While there weren't too many students in my classes at primary school the best status I could get was Laura Gaut's second best friend, and I think she only awarded me that because I asked and no one else was around!!
Reference: v.6 This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus. (NIV Bible)
Explore: It would not be a surprise to anyone to hear that I was not the coolest kids in school. While there weren't too many students in my classes at primary school the best status I could get was Laura Gaut's second best friend, and I think she only awarded me that because I asked and no one else was around!! I was generally liked by most people throughout secondary school but I never saw myself as a leader or Miss Popularity. I think that there is more of a social heirarchy in schools than in adulthood. Youth know if they are 'in' or not and they are often segregated into specific groups – nerds, jocks, emos etc.
The 'mystery' of the gospel that Paul speaks about in Ephesians is that we can all share together in life through Jesus. God does not have a social heirarchy; He does not allocate people who will be 'in' or not; He does not require us to fulfill some sort of membership criteria. God invites all people into this wonderful mystery, it is up to the decision of each person whether they embrace it.
Application: While high school may have been a little while ago for some of us, it is still easy to create a 'them and us' mentality. If you look a particular way and act a certain way then surely you are a good Christian and you are 'in'. However, if we really understand the mystery of the gospel, Jesus died for all. He didn't just spend time in the synagogues, he went out into the country side to preach, he ate with the lepers, he spoke to the prostitutes, he discipled the tax collectors. Jesus' actions show us that he was there for all people, and it is the inspiration for us to do likewise. We are quick to create barriers and yet if we follow Jesus' example we must learn to break down the barriers and embrace all people.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for embracing all sorts of people because that means that You are willing to embrace me. Amen.
What kind of 'groups' do we naturally form? How do we break down the group mentality when it comes to worshipping God?
This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.