A CALL TO BELONG
I had a friend in college that spent the first two weeks of the semester attending the wrong class. He didn’t realize it until the day the professor split everyone up for a group assignment. The professor called names and moved students around until only one student was left sitting by themselves – my friend. The professor was baffled that she hadn’t noticed an additional student in her class before then. She kindly informed my friend that he wasn’t on her roster list and asked him to double check his class schedule. Sure enough, my friend’s schedule showed a different class. Very embarrassed over his mistake, he asked the professor if he could just stay – to which she answered no, he didn’t belong in that class so he needed to leave.
We’ve all been there. Sure, we may not have mistakenly attended the wrong class, but we’ve all felt the feeling of not belonging. Maybe we weren’t picked for the game on the playground, or we didn’t get to join the high school team. Maybe we weren’t invited to that really fun party, or we were left out of the work lunch trip. Maybe you feel as though you don’t even belong in your own family. Whatever our situation, there is good news. God has invited us to belong – not just to a team, club, or even a group of friends or biological family – but to Himself. That’s right, the God of the universe has invited US to belong to HIM. In Ezekiel 36:28, God says, “you will be my people, and I will be your God”. When we don’t feel like we belong in this world, it’s okay. We were never meant to. We were meant to belong to God!
When we belong to God, we also belong around others who belong to God.
The Greek word ekklesia – the Bible word translated to “church” - means “a gathering” or “an assembly”. In other words, the Church is a gathering of the people that belong to God. We don’t have to think the same, look the same, act the same, or “fit in” to be together. Our commonality is much deeper than that. We are united by the blood of Jesus that has cleansed us from our sins and presented us to God as holy and righteous. If we have faith, we belong because God says we belong!