'There is Benjamin, the least of them, in the lead' Psalm 68 v 27
As a fan of the Old Testament, I admit to approaching what I'm going to say via an unusual route, but I hope that it will of some value despite that.
The tribe of Benjamin has a chequered history; in the book of Judges they turn out to defend their fellow tribesmen of the city of Gibeah who are about to be punished by the rest of Israel for the gang rape and murder of a woman (See Judges 19 - 21 for the full story). As a result the tribe comes close to extinction, and is only saved by a strange strategem (Judges 21 v8f).
So despite being as a tribe they were guilty of an appalling abuse, yet God gives them the place of honour, according to our verse in Psalms.
A similar principle can be seen in the rehabilitation and subsequent service of Peter and Paul. Peter, the traitor, and Paul, the church persecutor, go on to become mighty men of God.
As BLs therefore we need to be conscious that we have the potential to become mighty of God; we need to resist the temptation to succumb to the judgement of the world, so often reflected in the attitude of the church, that we are the lowest of the low and can at most be tolerated, but never truly valued. The truth is that we are sinners - but so are they. It's not the Transactional Analysis aphorism 'I'm OK, you're OK' with the added comment - but paedophiles aren't, it's 'You're NOT OK, I'm not OK and they're not OK - but that's OK because we are all equal at the foot of the cross'. Or as the Paul expresses it at the end of his life in I Timothy:
'15Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the worst. 16But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life. 17Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen. '
Prayer: Dear God, as we face our lives of marginalisation and loneliness because of the attitude of so many of your people, grant that we may focus on the truth that you have a totally different view of us. Give us the grace to forgive those whose rejection cuts us deeply, and help us to use our experience of such rejection to reach out to others marginalised in our communities. We ask this in the name of Jesus who was not only rejected on the cross, but whose own village sought to kill by throwing from a cliff. Amen.