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Irrelevant No More

As I chaired a church committee several years ago, another member good-naturedly dubbed me “Captain Spontaneous.” Anyone who knows me gets the humor, because I am anything but spontaneous. Still today I chuckle about the moniker. We’ve heard a lot of descriptive nicknames throughout the years, haven’t we? Some are harsh and some hysterical; some we’ve given and others we’ve earned. But the sobriquet I personally find most troubling is that reserved for the very last college football player selected in the annual NFL draft: they call him, “Mr. Irrelevant.” To be considered so insignificant as not to matter—except to be publicly recognized as the one not mattering—that is tough. Yet I suspect many among us go through life questioning their relevance or believing themselves to possess little of it.

God sees things differently than we do. Declared Samuel, “The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”1 Moreover, the church of Christ itself is living proof of His redemptive and transforming power. Paul writes to the Corinthians: “not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.”2 Not only does God choose His own from the “irrelevant” among us, He does so for an eternally relevant purpose—to expose the shallow ways of the world and to display His wisdom, compassion and power. This is how, for instance, the poor woman who gave everything she had—two small coins—into the temple treasury3 lives on in Scripture as a picture of humility, devotion, and faith. Irrelevant? Hardly.

Society will always define its populace according to its arbitrary and capricious ways; we cannot change this. Yet we need not despair, for God wills to rescue us, redeem us, and raise us to a place far above worldly relevance. “Humble yourselves before the Lord,” writes James, “and he will lift you up in honor.”4 Look up, Mr. Irrelevant, for the last shall be first.5

Father, how amazing is Your love for us. You remember those rejected by the world, and You seek them to be Your own. Use us for Your purposes, that our lives would display Your eternal glory. In Christ we pray, Amen.

1 1 Samuel 16:7
2 1 Corinthians 1:26-29
3 Luke 21:4
4 James 4:10 NLT
5 Matthew 20:16

3 replies on “Irrelevant No More”

I’m guessing that you caught Sunday’s football games where the improbable happened. “Mr Irrelevant” this past year was Brock Purdy of the 49ers. After a couple injuries to their QBs, Purdy actually played and played very well. He’s 100% relevant now.

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