Readings: Psalm 79; Micah 4:6-13; Revelation 18:1-10
In that day, says the Lord, I will assemble the lame and gather those who have been driven away, and those whom I have afflicted.
The lame I will make the remnant, and those who were cast off, a strong nation; and the Lord will reign over them in Mount Zion now and forevermore. [Micah 4:6-7, NRSV]
It’s the beautiful people, the wealthy and famous ones; it’s the ones with open concept homes, tastefully decorated; it’s the best and brightest, and the camera-ready: the In Crowd. The ones who don’t suffer in comparison, who don’t fall short, the ones who look the part, that make up that In Crowd. It’s not the ones who get picked last for kick ball, the ones who can’t afford the amenities, the ones without beauty or grace, or those who don’t get the joke. Outsiders don’t get in the In Crowd.
But that’s not really how the universe works, because the universe is God’s beloved creation. In the small, lower case sense, reality may be defined and limited by our superficial and inadequate standards. In the true, broader sense, it isn’t up to our limited judgement and prejudices. Those we would exclude from the In crowd, those of us excluded from the In crowd, are gathered and honored, valued not for external factors but for their very existence. God delights in every single life. There are no exceptions.
Happily, there are no ins and outs for God. There’s just the crowd and the invitation: join the party.