DayBreaks for 4/16/19 – Easter and Rejection

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DayBreaks for 4/16/19: Easter and Rejection

From the DayBreaks archive, April 2009:

Can you remember how it felt the first time you were rejected?  It may have been that you weren’t “wanted” on the team.  It may have been the first time you asked out that little red-headed, freckle faced girl and she turned up her nose at you and said (loudly!): “Eewwww!  I’d never go out with you!”  Rejection hurts.  Rejection hammers at the spirit and the heart and hope.  Rejection is a killer.

The woman was from Samaria.  She knew all about rejection.  She’d been married 5 times – and she’d heard the door slammed behind her 5 times as her husband of the moment threw her out and yelled at her, “And don’t come back!”  Even her friends had rejected her – after all, it could damage one’s reputation to hang out with such a woman who seemed not to have any scruples or moral fiber.  And so, when she went to the well, she went alone, carrying her water jar on her shoulder.  It was in the blazing heat of the day – so strong was her rejection by others that she didn’t dare go in the cool of the morning when other women would go – no, they wanted nothing to do with her, no matter if her heart cried out for someone, anyone, to care. 

Only on this day, there’s a man at the well.  She wonders if she will be safe.  Could he be violent?  A bandit, or even worse, a rapist waiting to fall upon a woman alone?  She proceeds, and when she gets there, this man looks at her and in a pleasant voice, asks for water, but she still was suspicious that he might have had something else in mind.  She was partly right – for he begins to ask her questions that plumbed the depth of her lonely, aching heart that had known so much rejection.  He even knew about her past…and yet he spoke to her with a tone of respect.  And then he offered her something that could quench the burning, not in her throat, but in her soul. 

As the questioning proceeded, she must have expected more rejection once she told him about her checkered past.  But she didn’t get criticism or any kind of lecture.  Jesus hadn’t come to the well seeking perfection, but honesty.  And finally, she said that she didn’t know where to go to find God, unaware He was talking with her that very moment.  Can you imagine the smile that crept across Jesus’ face and heart as he heard those words?  Here he was, in Samaria – and he’d found a hungry, thirsty heart for God.  And, it was not just any Samaritan, it was a woman.  And who would have thought that a 5-time “loser” in marriage would be so thirsty for God?  Jesus did.  This was perhaps the most outcast and rejected person in the area. 

And then a remarkable thing happened.  Jesus said to her, “I AM the Messiah.”  He could have gone to Rome and told that to Caesar and made Caesar bow down when he heard the words.  He could have gone to Herod and told him that He was the real King.  He could have gone to the religious leaders and told them the truth and opened their eyes and made believers out of them.  But he didn’t.  He revealed himself to the most rejected, broken, outcast person of all.

But what we often miss in this story is what happens next.  The woman got up, raced off and told others.  What is significant is what she left behind.  She left behind the water jar, to be sure – Scripture says so.  This water jar is a symbol of all the burden of shame, guilt and rejection she’d felt for year after year after long, lonely year.  She left it behind and ran into the town to talk to others – something she wouldn’t have dared do before coming to the well and meeting Jesus.  Why?  Because the very One who had the most right to reject her was the One that she discovered loved her the most.

Are you feeling rejected this Easter season?  Meet Jesus at the cross.  Let the one who was despised and rejected fill you with the Living Water.  The one who wouldn’t let this woman be alone in her rejection take you in his embrace and give you the love and welcome that you are so thirsty to find.  Let your rejection be healed by his welcome!

Prayer: Hallelujah, for Jesus is the friend of sinners, unafraid to meet us in our loneliness and rejection, the One who speaks words of life into the most shattered heart!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2019 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

 

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DayBreaks for 05/24/13 – Grace on Crutches

DayBreaks for 05/24/13 – Grace on Crutches

il_fullxfull.366910947_q0bmNOTE: I am on a missions trip/internship to Africa and will be gone until 5/25.  Please pray for God’s work to go forth mightily, for protection for myself and those with whom I will be working, and for my wife in my absence!  Thank you…I cherish your prayers!  You will be receiving DayBreaks as usual (from the archive) until I’ve returned.

Church “shopping” is an intriguing topic.  I know people right now who are hunting/shopping for a new church.  For one reason or another, they left a church they were attending and are seeking a new church home.  I wonder if such things happened in New Testament times.  I rather doubt it.

What do people look for when they go church shopping?  I’ve had people mention a variety of things to me when I’ve asked them what they are looking for.  Some of the answers have been predictable: meaningful worship, a good youth program, good sermons, solid biblical teaching.  And you know, there’s nothing wrong with all of those things.  They are good things.  But on the other hand, I know people who decide on a church because of things that are less clear: they have a very active social program with lots of potlucks and get-togethers or they have softball, basketball and bowling teams.

In my humble opinion, commitment to the Word of God and the Lordship of Jesus Christ should be first and foremost.   But here’s a different perspective that should rate high on the list of anyone seeking a church home: “Any church that will not accept that is consists of sinful men and women, and exists for the, implicitly rejects the gospel of grace.  As Hans Kung says, ‘It deserves neither God’s mercy nor men’s trust.  The church must constantly be aware that its faith is weak, its knowledge dim, its profession of faith halting, that there is not a single sin or failing which it has not in one way or another been guilty of.  And though it is true that the church must always dissociate itself from sin, it can never have any excuse for keeping sinners at a distance.  If the church remain self-righteously aloof from failures, irreligious and immoral people, it cannot enter justified into God’s kingdom.  But if it is constantly aware of its guilt and sin, it can live in joyous awareness of forgiveness.  The promise has been given to it that anyone who humbles himself will be exalted.

“The story goes that a public sinner was excommunicated and forbidden entry to the church.  He took his woes to God, ‘They won’t let me in, Lord, because I’m a sinner.’

“What are you complaining about?” said God.  “They won’t let Me in either.”

Often hobbling through our church doors on Sunday morning comes grace on crutches – sinners still unable to throw away their false supports and stand upright in the freedom of the children of God.  Yet, their mere presence in the church on Sunday morning is a flickering candle representing a desire to maintain contact with God.  To douse the flame is to plunge them into a world of spiritual darkness.”  – Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel

Copyright 2002 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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