Society is often unkind to those deemed to be ‘on the fringes’. Those who have their lives ‘together’ can sometimes forget that they’re only ever three missed pay-cheques away from homelessness, or one chronic illness away from disability, or one bereavement away from single parenthood. It’s a sobering thought, but it’s one that should motivate us to gather people around us in love and show kindness to everyone – irrespective of their circumstances. A circumstance doesn’t define a person; all of us – without exception – are important to God.
All of you together are the body of Christ. Each one of you is a part of that body.
1 Corinthians 12:27 ERV
You know the story of the four men who destroyed a roof so that their paralysed friend could get to Jesus? And how wonderful that they did, because Jesus changed that man’s life. But if his friends hadn’t bothered … Luke 5:18–26
Helen has Down syndrome. She can’t read or write, takes her time to speak and gets really cross when things don’t happen as she was expecting. She loves to pray for people who are ill. Gwen doesn’t speak and likes to flick the pages of the Bible. She uses Makaton to sign the words of the worship songs and joins in with her own vocalisations (loudly!). David reads the Easy English Bible and is able to answer so many questions about the Bible. Frank is blind and is a wheelchair user. He loves to lead us in prayer and has amazing faith that encourages others.
These people are enabled to come to Jesus because it is us who have changed. We’ve learned to communicate in different ways; we’ve thought about how we reach out to the marginalised and tried to take down many of the barriers people have to being part of the Body of Christ.
There are many who are marginalised in our communities. People with disabilities, families with young children with special needs, people who are homeless, refugees, ex-prisoners, single families, people who are LGBT … I’m sure you can add to the list. Churches can be the greatest barrier to these people coming to Jesus.
Let me encourage you to pray for God to open your eyes to those who are marginalised in your community and be flexible and eager to learn how to include them in your church or fellowship. Let’s be like those friends of the paralysed man and be enablers.
Today's blog was written by Lynn McCann from Reachout ASC.
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