Rejection Is God’s Protection
“Rejection is God’s protection.” My kids heard this from me a few too many times when they were adolescents navigating high school and their early college years. The fact that I said it, or thought it, so often didn’t mean that I lacked compassion for their situation. It was just so vivid to me from where I stood, that God was indeed protecting them. I still believe that today. When I look at my own past I see all the ways God’s protective hand guided me away from certain people and things, often through painful rejection, to the better things he had for me.
Today’s verse also speaks of a painful rejection, the rejection that our Lord Jesus Christ suffered from his own people: “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. This is the Lords doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.” Psalm 118:22-23.
How does rejection become marvelous in anyone's eyes? The answer is because in this instance, Rejection is God's inclusion!
Because the Jews rejected Jesus, his message of salvation came to the Gentiles (you and me). But hear me, our inclusion is not a consolation prize because those he really wanted rejected him. No, he planned to include us all along but he chose to do so in a way that would highlight our being chosen by setting it against the backdrop of their rejection. For proof, look again at Psalm 118: 23: “This is the Lord’s doing…” To do something is to bring it to pass, to carry it out, to make it happen. In these verses God was doingsomething profound. He was using the rejection of his chosen people to make a way for all, regardless of race or status, to be saved.
Understanding my being chosen in this context evokes a deep sense of awe and gratitude. But it is also meant to move me to action. I am meant to carry this message, to share this gift. I am meant to include others into the family of God. As we bring this Christmas week to a close, with our thoughts moving towards all the things we need to do, take down the tree, finalize New Years plans, clean out the refrigerator, return gifts, put our houses back in order, the list goes on and on… let us not neglect the most important thing.
My prayer for myself, and for you, is that God would open our eyes to see who desperately needs to be included, who needs an invitation in, and how can I be the one to extend the invitation?