He Loved the Ragmuffins
Lepers, prostitutes, Samaritans, tax collectors, gluttons, children, women, the diseased, crippled, mentally unstable, and all garden-variety sinners were at home with Jesus because of the Spirit of the Lord that was upon Him. In fact, the knock on Jesus was that His standards were very low when it came to His associations and locations of ministry. But by working seamlessly with the Holy Spirit, Jesus fully expressed the heart of God toward these aliens in his own culture, challenging the disciples at many levels and, on more than one occasion, causing reactions among them.
The men of Pentecost followed suit in the Spirit. Fresh from the upper room, they ran headlong into cultural and religious discrimination against certain widows who were falling through the cracks in the system. It could have easily been glossed over in the chaos of the moment, but the Holy Spirit would not allow it. Instead men full of the Holy Spirit mobilized to make those who felt forgotten secure.
When you look at the ministry of Jesus and the men of Pentecost, you see walls falling down: ethnic walls, cultural walls, economic walls, and even religious walls. You can’t miss this! The Holy Spirit was at work, transcending the established culture to make the most vulnerable among them feel secure. In the process, everyone present was witness to the authority of the kingdom of God over the cultures of men. A higher allegiance was seen. A witness started building, male culture started acting out of character, and stuff started happening. That is the story of the men of Pentecost. All of us have felt rejected. The Holy Spirit hates that feeling as much as we do, and in God’s family there are no cousins or in-laws — only sons and daughters. The opportunity to go from creation of God to a child of God is available to all.
Father, thank you that you accept me and unconditionally, sins and all.