With Jesus

Happy Thursday, Y’all! I’ve asked some heavy questions this week about belonging and I don’t want anyone to get the idea that I’m against joining or claiming membership with any group. I’m not. It’s important to belong and be a part of social groups for our wellbeing.

But … yep, there’s a but … we need to see the groups we identify with through the lens of God’s Kingdom. We need to be willing to ask ourselves the heavy questions to keep our eyes properly focused.

We need to be willing to let our vision be healed with the words of Jesus.

We need to be willing to let our attitude and behavior toward others be shaped by the actions of Jesus.

We need to be willing to let our hearts be transformed by the Love of Jesus.

And we need to hear Jesus say, “don’t be afraid” when we choose to be loyal to the Way of Jesus over and above any other group to which we belong. With Jesus, we are never alone. With Jesus, we always belong. With Jesus, we are loved.

In writing the good news story of Jesus, John gives us the words of Jesus as he prayed for all who choose to follow Jesus:

“I pray they will be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. I pray that they also will be in us, so that the world will believe that you sent me. … I’ve made your name known to them and will continue to make it known so that your love for me will be in them, and I myself will be in them.” 1

With Jesus, we belong because of who we already are: beloved children of God. With Jesus, we know that God will always be faithful and ready to welcome us even if we’ve lost our way for a while. With Jesus, our belonging is everlasting because it is at our very core, the Image of God from which we are created, and nothing or no one can take this away from us.

With Jesus we belong.

1 The Gospel according to John, Chapter 17, verses 21 & 26

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