The purpose was to make Abraham the ancestor of all who believe without being circumcised and who thus have righteousness reckoned to them, and likewise the ancestor of the circumcised who are not only circumcised but who also follow the example of the faith that our ancestor Abraham had before he was circumcised. - Romans 4:11-12
God knows we created rules for what we believe are good reasons, and that we (or our ancestors) did so after years of faithful practice and study. But what God actually cares about is the impulse behind the rules, not the rules themselves. The love that undergirds the expectations, more than the expectations. The faith that brought us to church, more than our thoughts about who's good enough to be in it with us. And while God appreciates the work that went into creating many of these rules and appreciates that we created them based on what we've heard from God himself, the truth is that God just doesn't care that much about our sense of who's in or out. If Paul is right, what God cares about is the faith and the love inside, not just the way it's manifested on the outside. Listen, and I will tell you a mystery: God doesn't love our rules. God loves God's people.
Prayer: I just can't imagine how you could love somebody like him, God. Then again, he probably can't imagine how you could love me. Thank you for being bigger than either of our imaginations. Amen