Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart: http://sothrichfield.podbean.com/
Romans 15:1-7 (NIV)
15 We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. 2 Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up. 3 For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: “The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.” 4 For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. 5 May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, 6 so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 7 Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.
There’s a poem mounted inside the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty. It was written by Emma Lazarus in 1883 to help raise money to build the pedestal that Lady Liberty stands upon. A part of this poem, The New Colossus, reads “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” This is not how I would word a dinner invitation. This might not be our first choice for who gets invited at all! Yet, it is a short-and-sweet example of how God tends to handle things. When you and I were invited into the family of God, it wasn’t because of our success, our accomplishments or our personal holiness. We were welcomed in because of God’s grace and love. God has called us – tired, poor and wretched – to gather as his chosen family. Today I invite you to take an inward focus to your devotion: Thank God for inviting YOU in. Thank God for calling you his Chosen, Perfect Child.