We have a tendency to play some pretty dangerous games with each other when it comes to acceptance. Many of us pick our teams based on who should be excluded. Worse yet, some of us don’t even realize we’ve excluded others until it’s too late.
Some of the religious leaders of Jesus’ day defined their team by who was excluded from their memebership. There was a long list: women, Samaritans, different races, anyone who was disabled or sick, and anyone considered a “sinner.”
Jesus radically challenged this exclusivity and exposed the game when he publicly shared meals with people from the list. Jesus ruined the game.
When it comes to who isn’t included, who is on your list? The story of Jesus, his death and resurrection, his inclusiveness, and party going reputation, ends the game we play with exclusivity. His people, his church, is to be known by their acceptance and love. Anything else it’s just a game.