In or Out
For me it began with elementary school kickball. You know how it works, the captain is chosen and then he (or she) begins to choose their team; one and then the other. It always begins with the most gifted athletes and then each works their way “down” to the smaller, or more uncoordinated or weaker players. “Okay, fine, I’ll take Beeman,” are words I remember well, usually followed by the rolling of eyes and an exasperated sigh. I always envied those who were chosen first. I always thought of myself as so much less than them. It continued through junior high and even the beginning of high school. The first chosen were always, it seemed, a part of the “in” crowd. I was just that kind of geeky kid who could sing – but who really cares about singers in middle school?
The elements of that kind of judgment carry on into our adult lives. We realize that some continue to be “in” with others identified as “not so in, or even out.” This Sunday we’ll explore that. Throughout the news stories today, it seems as though we live in a dichotomist world; a world of “either / or,” “in or out.” It seems as though it is all around us; and to some extent, the attitude is often within us, sometimes in overwhelming ways. And I’m not just talking about those we see as “in or out.” What I think may be the bigger issue is do we feel comfortable with where we see ourselves? Jesus turned it all on its ear. We see that in the scripture for this Sunday. We may be surprised to find out who some of the “in” crowd was. Maybe it will help us with our understanding of ourselves, and even in our role in the world today. To prepare please read Matthew 25:31-46.