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The Sneetches

Therefore, accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory. Romans 15:7 NLT

Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, was a masterful storyteller and illustrator who wove essential life lessons into whimsical children's stories. One of his books that beautifully addresses the theme of acceptance is "The Sneetches and Other Stories." 

This collection tells the story of the star-bellied Sneetches and the plain-bellied Sneetches. These two groups have a rather silly distinction: some have stars on their bellies, while others don't. Conflict arises as they look down upon each other based on their appearance.

But fear not! A Sneetch named Sylvester McMonkey McBean comes with a machine that can paint stars on the plain-bellied Sneetches. This, of course, upsets the star-bellied Sneetches, so he offers them a solution that removes stars. Suddenly, everyone wants to be like the other group. Chaos ensues, and the Sneetches learn valuable lessons about tolerance, diversity, and the absurdity of judging others based on external features. 

I don't know if Dr. Seuss had read Romans 15:5-9 before writing The Sneetches–probably not–but the passage is about acceptance of others. Jesus came for Jews and Gentiles alike. For the Jews, it was to fulfill the promise God had made centuries before to Abraham. God is always faithful to His promise. To the Gentiles, Jesus came out of mercy. Though they weren't included in the Old Testament covenant, God desires that everyone experience salvation. As God has accepted us for who we are, star-bellied and plain-bellied Sneetches alike, we are to welcome and accept each other.

We can expand this metaphor to not only Jew and Gentile but to Sneetches of all shapes and sizes–to anyone we perceive as different from ourselves. We are all loved by the same Father who desires his children to welcome and accept each other, star-bellied or plain-bellied.

Heavenly Father, We thank you for your abundant grace and mercy. We pray that you will grant us unity of mind and heart. May we be like-minded, seeking to glorify you and serve one another in love. Help us to welcome one another just as Christ has welcomed us. May we extend grace and acceptance to those around us, regardless of their differences. Let our lives be a reflection of your love and compassion. We pray for patience and endurance, especially during challenging times. Strengthen our faith and grant us the ability to persevere in hope. May our lives be a testimony to your goodness and faithfulness. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.


Pastor Tim

If you haven't read The Sneeches, I recommend it. Like the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes, there's some profound theological thought here.

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