Fitting in is a huge part of Latino culture.
As a community full of diversity - Latinos come in all shapes and colors, speak a wide range of dialects, and come from all over the place - most of us feel, at some point or another, like we don't belong.
I remember how, at a gathering for new Latino campus ministers, we went around the circle and, in the process of introducing ourselves, each gave a reason why we shouldn't be at the gathering. No one asked us to do this. It just came naturally. We worry that we won't belong.
But we want to belong. Thinkers about post-modern culture tell us that belonging is a high value for today's college students and 20somethings, but this is even more amplified in the Latino community.
And this is one of the reasons Jesus is so stunning.
In Luke 4, we're told twice that crowds of people are buzzing with news about Jesus. People want to hear him and see him in action. The crowd gathers. But the text makes no mention of Jesus caring.
Sandra pointed this out during her talk at LaFe10 tonight.
If I had a gathered crowd, I'd be excited. Or nervous. I'd be so excited (or nervous) that it would so significantly impact my actions that a biographer would have to record it. You're probably the same way.
But Jesus wasn't.
Sandra claimed that the minimal impact of the crowd on Jesus had to do with where he found his identity. He didn't find his identity in the crowd. He found his identity in God and God's Spirit - "This is my Son, whom I love, with him I'm well pleased" - and, as such, was free from the pressure to fit in. Belonging in the Trinity, he didn't need affirmation from the crowd.
How I'd love to be like that!
Lord, help us to be so secure in you that we're free from the struggle to fit in. Speak your words of ownership and acceptance over us. We believe that you own and accept us because you have united us to your Son, our Savior, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen.