So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s.
Some of you may remember the TV show “Cheers.” The theme song of this show, expresses well the human heart---“...Where everyone knows your name.” We want to belong. A lot of our heart struggles in life are wondering if we belong. Many of our relational struggles are characterized by trying to not be rejected by others. The gospel speaks into our desire to belong.
Paul reminds us in Romans 14 that Jesus has lived and died for us, so that whether we live or we die, we belong to Jesus—we are the Lord's! This is great hope! It is hope in this life, so that even if others reject us, we are the Lord's! He will never leave us or forsake us. It is hope in death as well, because one of the terrifying things about death is we will not be known anymore by the people who we love us and who love us. But belonging to Jesus transcends death. Even in death, we belong to Jesus. Our union with Jesus, our belonging to him, cannot be stopped or hindered by death.
Rest your heart today that you are completely known, fully understood, and persistently loved by God—you belong to Jesus. Let this hope compel you to risk rejection from others. Let this hope empower you to pursue including others. Let this hope inspire you to be welcoming, hospitable and sincere in your love for others!