16 God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him won’t perish but will have eternal life.17 God didn’t send his Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him isn’t judged; whoever doesn’t believe in him is already judged, because they don’t believe in the name of God’s only Son. 19 “This is the basis for judgment: The light came into the world, and people loved darkness more than the light, for their actions are evil. 20 All who do wicked things hate the light and don’t come to the light for fear that their actions will be exposed to the light. 21 Whoever does the truth comes to the light so that it can be seen that their actions were done in God.” John 3:16-21, CEB
I feel like anytime I get an email from someone or anytime someone comes to the office to have a conversation about God, I end up trying to prove to them that, yes, in fact, God does actually want you to be a part of his people. The more the merrier, in fact. The more people who have experienced God’s love, the more people who are able to harness it and show it to the world around them.
Now, as we’ve said many times, this doesn’t just happen on an individual level. It’s not on me, Scott McBean, to be solely responsible for showing the world around me who God is. I participate in a community of people, Northstar, and, as a group, we work together to carry out this mission. We do this through our partnerships with Caritas/the Healing place, our prison ministry, education programs, other classes, small groups, and in our relationships with each other. Our work is to make collective decisions about how best display God’s character as a community.
That all starts with embracing acceptance. Sure, we have laundry lists of things that might make us unacceptable. But God does not find us acceptable based on our pasts or based on our future but, instead, from his own love for his creation.
We need to understand this! Really, seriously, we do.