Part of my daily spiritual practice is reading the meditation from the Center for Action and Contemplation. I have included quotes here many times. The theme of the past week was "Everyone Belongs." Writings discussed how Jesus' life was hanging out with everyone, both the "rabble" of society and the "uppities." He made no distinctions between people by class, status, wealth or behavior. He loved everyone. His life was about fellowship, which writer Brian McLaren describes this way:
Fellowship is a kind of belonging that isn’t based on status, achievement, or gender, but instead is based on a deep belief that everyone matters, everyone is welcome, and everyone is loved, no conditions, no exceptions.
My "depth of winter" was addiction which reached its peak in my late 20s and early 30s. I found my "invincible summer" in a 12-step program, and with it came the sort of fellowship that McLaren describes and Jesus practiced. That sort of fellowship completely changed my life--it is that powerful. And it has absolutely nothing to do with religion.
Imagine if we could each practice that kind of fellowship in our daily lives. Isn't that what Jesus was trying to teach us?!?!