“I don’t love you anymore; I want a divorce.”
   “I’m sorry but we have to let you go.”
   “Mom, do not call me again.” 
     A bitter spouse, an exasperated boss, or an ungrateful, grown child; these are just a few of the faces of rejection you may have experienced.  Rejection, it’s an ugly word and a painful emotional scar that all of us encounter from time to time.  How do we deal with it? Jesus Christ gives us the keys.
     First, the cross of Christ shows that we are deeply, passionately loved.  While we were rebels, Christ died for us.  He paid the ultimate price so that we could be forgiven and experience relationship with him.  Do not let the familiarity of this story rob it of its emotional power. All of us “want to be known. Heard. Seen. Safe. (Waymaker, Ann Voskamp, 4).  Simply put, we want to be loved.  The cross of Jesus profoundly helps us to experience our deepest needs.  Jesus offers us despite our sins, rebellion and brokenness, a fierce, unconditional love. 
     Second, the identity Jesus offers us helps us deal with rejection.  Through the work, death, and resurrection of Jesus the offer is not just that we are forgiven but that we are invited into God’s family.  We get to become adopted sons and daughters of God.  This is stunning.  An example of this adoptive love is found in the Hebrews Scriptures where King David invites Mephibosheth, the grandson of his enemy former King Saul to eat at the kings table (2 Samuel 9:7).  In essence, David invites him into family fellowship, and possibly adopts him as a son.  David does this because of the great kindness of his friend Jonathan who sacrificed so much to be David’s ally.  God the Father sent his Son Jesus to pave a way so that we could be family!  When my sister adopted three children from a Russian orphanage everything changed for them.  It is many years later and my niece and nephews have fully embraced and grown into their adopted identity.  Growing into our adopted spiritual identity is our beautiful calling as well.    
     Third, the example of Jesus shows us how to act in the face of rejection.  Jesus was even rejected by his own family (Mark 3:21).  His hometown rejected Him because they could not believe that someone so ordinary was really the long awaited Messiah (Mark 6:1-6).  His family seemed to stumble over the claims Jesus made about Himself to be fully God.  I am sure that these rejections stung for Jesus.  But he handled it by persevering and moving forward in His mission.  His family came around, but it took the resurrection for his brother, James, to believe that he was who he said he was. He later became a prominent leader in the church and author of Scripture (the book of James).  So often the proper response to rejection is to persevere.  Often after a short or long wait our faithfulness is rewarded here, but it is always rewarded in the hereafter.      
     As you experience rejection, which you inevitably will, cling to Jesus—His stunning love revealed by the cross, and offer to become family and his persevering example.  Rejection hurts.  Christ helps.
Pastor Derek Dickinson