Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you,
in order to bring praise to God. Rom. 15:7
Dear Jesus, you know everything about us, and yet you joyfully, completely, and tenaciously accept us. More so, you actually enjoy and delight in us. This is heart-humbling glorious.
For we are the self-absorbed younger son you welcome home, and the self-righteous elder son you constantly pursue (Luke 15). We’re the one lying at your feet others would stone, and hypocritical, religious rock-throwers. We’ve been up in the tree with Zacchaeus, and down in the depths with Peter. We easily see the speck in other’s eyes, and yet ignore Redwood forest in our own; yet you deeply, unwaveringly love us.
Thank you, Jesus, and HELP! For as you’ve accepted us, you’re calling us to accept others. There are many folk—even in the Body of Christ, with whom we strongly disagree. Though we are one in You, we are often quite divided, when it comes to theology and sociology; COVID-etiquette, and who should be president; how to raise kids, and how to spend cash. And that’s just for starters.
We need thicker grace-skin and bigger Gospel-hearts. We love well when we show kindness without compromise; and listen to learn. Teach us the difference between essential and nonessential matters, Jesus; and the difference between acceptance and acquiescence. It gets fuzzy, at times.
Free us from the limitations of our perspectives, and the prejudices of our heritages. Help us remember our Father’s promise to complete his good work in us, also applies to each of his children. Burn the conviction indelibly into our hearts: It brings you great praise when we work to accept others as you accept us, Jesus. So very Amen we pray, in your matchless and merciful name.