Accept One Another: A Devotion
This devotion was written by Ricardo Huerta.
“Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.” (Romans 15:7, NIV)
If we want to know how to accept one another we first need to know how it is that Christ accepts us.
So just how has “Christ accepted you?” Was it on the basis of some goodness you brought to the world? Did he consider the times you helped at a soup kitchen? Or maybe, as it says in Matthew, you acknowledged him before others therefore reserving the right to be accepted? To all this the church resounds with a loud “no!”
The whole crux of Christianity rests on the fact that “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” So to know Christ’s acceptance is to know, not cognitively but experientially, that even at our lowest, our worst, our downright bad and ugly, Christ proclaims, “He is mine, she is mine, they are mine.” This acceptance is not merited or earned through some dubious form of good Christian performance. No, it is extended to all of us in a world where performance determines acceptance.
This is the kind of acceptance that Paul wants us to have for one another. It is hard, it is outrageous, it is what some writers call the scandal of grace. Father Robert Capon put it well: “Grace [i.e. acceptance without merit] doesn’t sell; you can hardly give it away, because it works only for losers and no one wants to stand in their line.”
As a people accepted by Christ we accept and stand in line with losers, the defeated, the downtrodden, the hated, the scoundrels, and not just the “least of these,” but also the worst of these.