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St Johns Southgate

11 Aug 2016

We need to talk about Kevin

I couldn’t help but feel for our 26th prime minister when I heard the news that the government wouldn’t be endorsing his candidacy for Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Regardless of whether Mr Rudd is suited for the role – which Prime Minister Turnbull clearly feels he isn’t – it’s a tough spot for him to be in. Being so definitely and so publicly not chosen for something has got to hurt.

We’ve all been there to a certain degree. We’ve all felt rejection. Whether it’s being passed over for a promotion, not being selected at the netball tryouts or being knocked back by your crush when you finally worked up the nerve to ask them out; being unwanted, not needed, deemed unsuitable leaves you feeling like rubbish.

I’ve always wondered how Joseph (called Barsabbas) felt after his very public rejection.

Joseph was one of two guys put forward as possible candidates to replace Judas, who had betrayed Jesus, as an apostle. Judas was gone and they needed to top up their numbers to hit that magic number of twelve again. So, two names were put forward – Matthias, who eventually got the job and poor old Joseph Barsabbas.

Even though Joseph is never mentioned in the bible again, he’s still named, and not just as “the other guy”. We’re told why he was rejected for good reason. Just because Joseph wasn’t chosen to be an apostle doesn’t mean he didn’t have a role to play.

The same goes for us. Just because we didn’t get our preferred job or didn’t have a certain spark that captured his or her imagination, or couldn’t shoot straight at crunch time during the tryouts, doesn’t mean that we don’t have something to offer. Just because Kevin Rudd won’t be the next Secretary-General of the United Nations doesn’t mean he has no future in public life.

If there is one thing that the Christian faith makes clear, it’s that rejection need not be the end. Jesus himself was the one not chosen. He knows what it’s like. He was rejected and was even sent to a cross to die. But he made a glorious comeback and still impacts the lives of people today.

The great thing about Jesus and the Christian faith is that Jesus promises to never leave us, pass us over, or give us the arm around the shoulder treatment as we’re shown the door. Jesus says, I choose you!

Being in the club with Jesus doesn’t rely on a right time, right place or who you know. Being in with Jesus doesn’t even rely on suitability. Jesus loves and values all people even before they know or decide that they value him. Jesus makes you the offer, gives you the endorsement and welcomes you onto the team. With Jesus there are no hidden agendas, no invisible men to keep happy, no conditions – for Jesus, you simply are, and always were, the one.

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