The Longing to Belong
Thursday, April 05, 2018
Throw in your lot among us;
we will all have one purse.
Some years ago, I attended a conference in a major city. Early one morning I awoke to loud voices on the street below—it was a gang fight. West Side Story without singing or dancing.
To middle-class suburbanites, gang life looks like Milton’s “hell broke loose,” but for a down and out kid it can feel like home. Here he belongs. Here he matters. Here he counts. The human heart longs to belong, so the words of this proverb strike a chord, don’t they? Throw in your lot with us.
But bad company ruins good morals (1 Cor. 15:33). We know about gangs and peer pressure, of course, but getting older doesn’t give you integrity, and middle-class values make middle age people do all kinds of things. Psychologist Stanley Milgram discovered years ago that ordinary adults would willingly inflict pain—even when the client under “treatment” (an actor) begged them to stop. They wouldn’t risk rejection by the “expert.” The longing to belong can make us silent when we ought to speak, make us run away when we ought to stand, compromise when we ought to confront, do nothing when we ought to act, please people when we ought to please God.
On this Easter Sunday, pause to remember that the world rejected Jesus. Even His own disciples deserted Him. But God raised Him from the dead to prove forever that the Cross is the only way of salvation; and that because He lives, we may live also (John 14:19).
Welcome to Christ Church. The Lord is risen; the Lord is risen indeed! Happy Easter!
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