“Don’t be afraid,” David said to him, “for I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will always eat at my table. Mephibosheth bowed down and said, “What is your servant, that you should notice a dead dog like me?” 2 Sam. 9:7-8 (NIV)

     Dear heavenly Father, though we’ve never been “dead dogs” to pity, we have been dead in our sins and trespasses, utterly shut up to your sovereign grace. And you, who are rich in kindness, poured measureless mercy upon us—raising us from the grave of our sin, hiding our lives in Jesus, the Beloved.

     Truly, Jesus is the greater Jonathan. For his sake, you have been extravagantly generous to us. Because of Jesus’ finished work, you have lavished your welcome and love upon us. For your glory, you now greatly delight in us and will bring us safely home. Our hope is built on nothing less, nothing more, and nothing other, than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. The gospel is true, Hallelujah, the gospel is really true and really this good.

     And now, Father, you don’t merely tolerate us, endure us, or “legally” like us. We are your redeemed image bearers, and cherished daughters and sons. You truly desire and enjoy us. May this good news radically impact us; may it free us from our crippling insecurities and lingering shame, from our pride and our fears.

     May your love and provision for us, liberate us to think about ourselves less often. May the gospel be so in play in our lives that we become more intrigued with people than irritated by them; more accepting and less guarded around them; better listeners and more comfortable with their brokenness.

     Father, grant us special grace for loving the “irregular” people in our lives, confident and humbled by the fact that we, ourselves, are on somebody’s  ”irregular” people list as well. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ exalted and worship-worthy name.