I had been waiting for the letter for days. I checked the mail at home. I checked the mail at the Student Center. I was really anxious to hear. Had I won the scholarship competition or not? It was a contest between nine rising seniors. One of us was going to get a cash award equal to one year’s tuition. The rest would receive a rejection letter. Since I already had a full scholarship, this was literally going to be extra money in my hands. I thought the audition had gone really well, and I was feeling really good about my chances.
What I was not well prepared for was the fact that I only had a one in nine chance of winning the scholarship. One lucky person would take the prize, and eight other people, all chosen to audition because we were “deserving,” would receive rejection letters.
When the letter finally arrived, I tore into the envelope, quickly opened the letter, and read the one word I didn’t want to read: “Rejected.” It was just one word on a page, but it said everything that I needed to know. I would eventually read the whole letter. It congratulated me for being a finalist. It congratulated me for my good grades. It congratulated me because the music faculty had chosen me as a finalist. All those words. But it was the one word that I couldn’t get past: “Rejected.”
We’ve all had to deal with that in our lives. We didn’t get the job. We didn’t get the guy or the girl. We didn’t make the team. We didn’t get approved for the loan. We didn’t get voted into the fraternity or the sorority or the club. We didn’t make partner this time. We were denied tenure, again.
Our egos take a lot of hits in a lifetime, don’t they? How do we handle these rejections? Is there any word from the Lord? There most certainly is! I will be preaching from Luke’s Gospel today. The very people Jesus had come to die for were rejecting Him. How did He deal with the ultimate rejection? There’s a lot of biblical wisdom in what I have to share with you today.
Welcome to worship, my fellow rejects. What we do here matters.