By Michael Fitzpatrick
A Reading from Galatians 3:23-29
23 Now before faith came, we were imprisoned and guarded under the law until faith would be revealed. 24Therefore the law was our disciplinarian until Christ came, so that we might be justified by faith. 25But now that faith has come, we are no longer subject to a disciplinarian, 26for in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith. 27As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. 29And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to the promise.
Maybe being loved just isn’t for me. That’s what I though as a teenager growing up in rural California, where popularity was achieved by either sports, daring acts of illegality, or the latest trends in fashion and music. As a skinny, poor kid wearing ill-fitting hand-me-downs, whose idea of trendy music was a cassette of Geoff Moore I filched from my dad’s box of tapes, and who was afraid of smoking and parties, keeping up with the crowd was not a live option.
I wish someone then had really explained the good news of Jesus to me. My peers seemed to be blessed with love and attention, while I was picked on, bullied, and alone. If God was present, he seemed far more interested in padding their reputations than helping my existential crisis.
Imagine if someone, paraphrasing Galatians 3:28, had told me, “In Christ, there is no longer popular or unknown, rich or poor, fashionable or homely. If you belong to Christ, you have access to the greatest wealth any human can have. If you belong to Christ, then you are a child of God through faith. If you belong to Christ, you are an heir to the promise God gave Abraham to bless all. If you belong to Christ, all other measures of human worth fall away in the blinding glory of the eternal decree that you are fully chosen and loved by God in Christ. Forget fashion; be clothed with Christ.”
Once a young kid on the margins, this became very good news to me as an adult. Who in your life is on the margins, thinking that God’s love is not for them because of how the world judges them? It is my prayer for you that God would make you an instrument of bringing that good news today.
Michael Fitzpatrick is a doctoral student in philosophy at Stanford University. He attends St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Palo Alto, Calif., where he serves as a lay preacher and teacher.
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Daily Devotional Cycle of Prayer
Today we pray for:
The Diocese of Algoma (Canada)
Zabriskie Memorial Church of St. John the Evangelist, Newport, R.I.