Look for the hole in the middle.

Recently, Anne and I spent a Saturday afternoon doing some sprucing up of the landscaping in front of our home.  We cleared out some old plantings and ugly rocks, laid down some new weed barrier and put on some fresh mulch.  Now we just need a few more plants and the maybe a raised garden bed and we’ll be ready for summer.

A couple of days after doing all this sprucing, I noticed something in one of the planting beds that had just received the new layer of landscape cloth and mulch.  There was one spot where the mulch has been shoved aside, an opening chewed through the cloth and a hole dug down into the ground underneath.  The hole is about 2” in diameter and I’ve been trying to decide if whatever creature created it was trying to get down in the ground or back out again.

This unknown creature who is using our garden bed has me thinking about being in or out today.  Where are the places in our lives where we draw the distinctions of in versus out?  Are they in line with the crowd or out on their own?  Are they in the know or out of touch?  Are they on the inside or the outside?  Is one necessarily better than the other?  Where would you rather be?

This coming Sunday, we’ll return to Luke’s book chronicling the Acts of the Apostles (read Acts 15:1-18) and hear once again how the early church was having the ongoing struggle of determining who was in and who was out.  Why this was so important to them should not be a surprise.  If anything, our human story is filled with plenty of history when deciding who’s in and who’s out has been the primary source of conflict and strife.  But those who are trying to follow Jesus need to understand that God doesn’t draw lines in the same way that we seemed to be so inclined to desire.

What lines have you been drawing lately between you and someone else?  If God were to show up here, which side would God be on?  Be careful, you might be surprised how easy it is to find yourself on the other side.

May peace come to you this day. -Pastor Peter

Let us pray:
Gracious God, ease our fears around who is in and who is out. Show us the way to remain wherever you are and, by the strength of your Spirit, help us to lead others there, through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior. Amen.