Received rather than rejected.

Week beginning: 2nd September, 2018 | By Mark Jones | Surrey

He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God - children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God.

John 1:11-13 (NIV)

Professionally, the Law can be a privileged, exclusive environment, and a fickle lover. Perhaps I feel comfortable and accepted, or feel/fear being outcast or demeaned. Either way, I have no right that compels her ongoing affection and my welcome within the club.

I similarly cannot compel another person's love. The greater my love, the more agonising its rejection, the deeper those wounds and my reluctance to allow others in. Coldness, arrogance and cynicism aren't just what the public perceive some lawyers to excel in, but are character traits for many who experience or fear rejection - hardened surfaces protecting tender areas.

If anyone had the right not to be rejected, it was Jesus. Our Lord came as bridegroom to his betrothed; and in the greatest act of love he submitted himself to death on a cross for an undeserving and adulterous lover.

John conveys that the right to become children of God is not an entitlement of the self-assured, but a privilege for those who believe in Jesus with hearts open to receive the one who was himself rejected. It is not demanded, earned, deserved or negotiated. It is given. An unmerited act of love that embraces the rejected and our scars, "Welcome to the family, welcome to the inheritance, welcome to the business of God & Sons. Now, let me tend those wounds".

Prayer Points:

1. For wounds of rejection to be replaced with assurance of our acceptance in Christ.

2. Eschewing self-assurance for humility, give thanks for the privilege of the right to become a child of God.