Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Marginal People

There is an increasing awareness of God's use of marginal people to institute a fresh new move of his. When God was ready to make his move to deliver his people from their bondage in Egypt, he chose Moses, who had been marginalized on the backside of the desert for 40 years. Throughout Scripture it appears that God favors marginal people. These people are powerless, without resources, having nothing to lose in giving themselves wholeheartedly to God and his cause.
Those in positions of power, prestige and authority are seldom the ones God chooses to be in the forefront of the new thing he brings forth. They have to much invested in the status quo. They will lose too much if they choose to align themselves with the new thing God is doing. Their life is wrapped up in the present system, giving them a sense of security. In fact, these are the ones who most violently resist the new thing because it threatens their present lifestyle.
Jesus gives us a vivid illustration of God's tendency to select the marginalized to initiate his new covenant. Of the twelve who Jesus chose to be apostles, all but one (Judas) were from the marginalized region known as Galilee of the Gentiles. The people of this region were sneered at by those of Jerusalem and Judea as a bunch of uneducated country hicks. From this contemptuous region, Jesus chose rough fishermen, a despised tax collector, a terrorist among those who he commissioned to carry the gospel of the kingdom forth into the world. There is a striking absence of priests, scribes, and anyone else specifically associated with the religious system of the day.
Even Jesus was marginalized. He came from Nazareth, a town so despised that it was questioned whether anything good could come from it. And also being from Galilee, he was automatically dismissed by the religious establishment as being authentic.
Get ready! God is moving with the marginalized to bring forth radical change in his church.

ah... this is gold. I've been saying this for years...
jovial cynic,
It's encouraging to know that God doesn't operate like we do. Power and position mean nothing to him. 1 Corinthians 1:26-31 shows who God chooses.
I would add that those who are in power are not illiminated just because they are in positions of power. What illiminates them is their unwillingness to let go of their present state to move with God in what he's doing. Jesus said "He who seeks to save his life will lose it, while the one who loses his life for My sake will find it." That's the bottom line.
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