The People Nobody Else Wants

Dave Humphrey, Pastor

I’ve mentioned several times in sermons and in conversation that from time to time I pray a prayer on behalf of our congregation and community – a dangerous prayer.  “Lord, send us the people nobody else wants.”  I’ve been praying this prayer off and on for about ten years.  I heard it used by a pastor in Florida and it just keeps coming back into my spirit every few months or weeks or days.

Not only have I seen beautiful answers to this prayer over the years in Smyrna and other places but it keeps teaching me things about the heart of God and human nature.  We’ve all felt, at least for a moment in time, like the one nobody else wants.  Some seem to have their whole lives defined by that identity.  Jesus was the despised and rejected one, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief, for us.  I heard the haunting beauty of that again recently in a recording of the Messiah, right in the middle of all the glorias.

It can certainly be messy and irritating to be a community that figures out how to make room for everyone.  But when you serve one who was despised and rejected and somehow made it all worth it for all who would come to him, it becomes well — worth it.  Gloria in Excelsis Deo for the haunting beauty of the unwanted one who couldn’t find room to be born and who had to flee a dominated-by-evil-murdering-madman right from the get-go and yet who still, rather than rejecting and despising us – includes us.

Welcome, people, to the fellowship of the People-Nobody-Else-Wanted.  Nobody but Jesus (Galatians 4:4-5, Matthew 1:21).

Merry Christmas!


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