"Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God" Jn 1:12
We need to take being children of God seriously. In these democratic times we miss the full significance of these words. In the world in which they were written, the power of a king was pretty unconstrained; if he wanted to put you into prison, that's where you're going - no appeal, no discussion. And of course as a result members of his family would be treated with a lot of respect, because get on the wrong side of them and your life would get miserable quite fast.
But above the kings were the gods. You think a king could make your life miserable, but upset a god, and they'd be on your case for ever. And most of these gods had children, who got to share in that glory eventually, though often had to struggle with being ordinary for a long time.
So - here you are - ordinary slave / worker on the streets of Ephesus in AD 50. And these Christians start telling you that you have the opportunity to become a child of God. Wow! You're not stuck with struggling through your life being ordinary - you can be a child of God.
What's the relevance of this to being a BL? As BLs, we can easily start to buy into what the world says about us: we are some of the most hated people on the planet. People fear us. People don't want us around. Mobs do come and chase us out of our homes and trash them. They believe we shouldn't exist, and will cheer at the news that another of us has committed suicide.
And we buy into this.
We let it get to us: we start to believe that we are the scum of the earth. We start to believe that we should stop taking up space on the planet. We fall into a spiral of despair - some actually doing something stupid, others just bumping along in the pit.
But the truth is that we are children of God. We have become children of God because God has given us His life. We're special to Him, and we have an absolute right to be here. And so when the world is getting at us, we need to remember 'I am a child of God, and He says I've the right to be here.'
Prayer: 'Thank you God that you've made me your child. Thank you that gives me a firm foundation in my life - a right to be who I am, whatever I've done or might want to do. Help me to resist the temptation to despair, to the self destructiveness that follows from thinking I am nothing. Help me rather to live in your service, making whatever difference I can to the people around me. We ask this in the name of Jesus whose death enables us to become your children. Amen'