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Standing Against Marginalisation and Stigma

Exodus 23:9

Also you shall not oppress a stranger: for you know the heart of a stranger, seeing as you yourselves were strangers in the land of Egypt.


Beloved in Christ, today I stand before you to discuss an issue of vital importance - the dangers of marginalizing or stigmatizing anyone. In our world today, fraught with challenges and divisions, it is upon us as followers of Jesus Christ to foster genuine love – even when we are not extended the same in return. We should know about the evil of marginalisation and stigma, for our history was founded upon being marginalised and persecuted.


We saw how our Saviour looked upon such people with grace and love. In the Gospel of John, 4:1-42, we learn of Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well. Here was a woman from a group despised by the Jews, marginalized and stigmatized by society. Yet, Christ did not see her through the lens of societal prejudice. Instead, He offered her love, acceptance, and the living water of eternal life.


Why? Because to Jesus, no one is insignificant; no one is beyond the reach of God's love. His ministry was about breaking down barriers, not erecting them. He dined with tax collectors, healed the sick, touched the lepers, and spoke with women - all of which were radical actions in His society.


To Christ, everyone mattered. Everyone was worthy of love and dignity. He did not just preach this, He lived it. Therefore, it becomes essential for us as Christians to follow His example. We must strive to create a community where everyone is welcome, where everyone is loved, and where everyone is valued.


Remember, beloved, that each of us, in our own way, has been marginalized or stigmatized at some point in our lives. We know the pain of feeling unseen, unheard, and unvalued. Let us not inflict that pain on others. Instead, let us remember the words of the Apostle Paul in Galatians 3:28, "There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus."


Let us strive to be the hands and feet of Jesus in this world. Let us reach out to those on the fringes, those who feel marginalized or stigmatized, and remind them that they are loved and valued. Let us practice love, acceptance, and inclusivity, for this is what our Savior taught us.


Let us never forget, my beloved brethren, that each one of us has a unique role to play in God's grand design. Each one is special. Each one is loved. And each one is needed. Let us, therefore, make it our mission to create a church, a community, and a world where no one is marginalized or stigmatized. For as it is written in 1 John 4:8, "Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love." So, let us know God by loving others, just as He loves us.