In the biblical story, God almost always looks to the margins of society when there is an important message to deliver or a big job to do. Moses was a refugee with a criminal past. Ruth was an immigrant and a widow. Elizabeth was an old woman whose barrenness made her a failure at the one and only thing women in those days were expected to do. Matthew collected taxes for an occupying army.
Again and again throughout the biblical story, God chooses to work in, with, and through the marginalized. God identifies with them. Of all the peoples on earth, they seem to matter most to God.
Jesus couldn’t have made this any plainer. “…Blessed are you who are poor,” he said, “for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you will be filled. Blessed are you who weep…” (Luke 6:20-21). There is a particularity here that cannot be ignored, a singling out of those who are marginalized, for God’s special attention and concern.
This message is excerpted from the Bible study “All anew” by Kelly Fryer in the July/August 2017 Gather magazine. Today we commemorate Lawrence, deacon, martyr, 258.
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