Ephesians 2:19-22 “So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone. In him the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built together spiritually into a dwelling place for God.”

All of us are hardwired at birth to need to belong. A newborn who is not nurtured will soon die from isolation and loneliness.

If we are fortunate enough to grow up in a nurturing family, we will experience belonging and learn how to include others in our life.

If our family of origin is less than ideal, we will hunger more for a place to belong.

In the season of Lent we learn from the life of Jesus, especially through his life of sacrificial love for a fallen world, that we are God’s family, we belong, and that is God’s gift of inclusive love to all of us.

Likewise, the church is called to extend God’s gift of belonging to the lonely, the troubled, the alienated, the outsider, the “others”. We will find them everywhere – at the store, at work, at school, at play, even at Church.

Let us all pray, in this season of Lent, that God will sharpen our vision to recognize those who need to belong, and to welcome them into God’s family and into ours.

Doug Hill