Forming an Inclusive Community

God opens his arms wide and so should we.
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Have you ever approached a few people talking and felt left out? Is that what people taste when they approach you?

I'm so glad God said "whoever" when he thought of the guest list. I'm thankful that the list of requirements wasn't as long as my arm. It's more like: Are you breathing? Then you're eligible!

God Will Help You

Most of us think, I know God loves everyone. It's easier for him; he's God. But he enables us to do what he expects of us. He doesn't just say, "Love people. And by the way, good luck with that." God empowers us to do what we can't do naturally. And God loves empowering us because then we are aware of our inability and have to trust him completely. We know it isn't us.

Accepting others is God's specialty. I'm not saying he did it easily. It cost a great price, but one he willingly paid. God sees what is in us. He is the God of all time—so he already knows our future but accepts us in our present, which is amazing. He died for even those who will never accept him.

God loved the world, and more importantly he loved us. Where would we be if the disciples had decided their group was strong enough, large enough, and close enough just as it was, and closed their ranks? We'd be outside looking in.

"Father … I pray … that all of them may be one."

I'm so glad that Jesus was secure in his relationship with the Father. So secure he opened up his arms wide and died for us. I'm just so glad.

Anne Peterson is a poet, speaker, and freelance author. If she isn't writing she's having fun with grandsons, Jude and Charlie. Visit Anne at Facebook or at annepeterson.com, where you can read her blog and listen to her poetry. Her book, Real Love: Guaranteed to Last, is available here.

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