Monday, November 24, 2014

Come in, Lord Jesus

Mark 2:13-16 Once again Jesus went out beside the lake. A large crowd came to him, and he began to teach them.  As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” Jesus told him, and Levi got up and followed him.
While Jesus was having dinner at Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him.  When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?”

Oh, Jesus, I get it. I understand why you wanted to eat with sinners.

I have sat around a table and broken bread with a group of women that our modern world would call sinners. We have laughed and talked and eaten way too much chocolate together. Then after the bread has been broken, we have broken open your word. We have swallowed down your hard truths and your beautiful love and your limitless grace. It has been glorious, an authentic place without the masks we often hide behind. 
And I have had the privilege to spend a moment inside the prison walls in Hagerstown. I was there after a weekend of your missionaries sharing the Good News with these brothers behind bars. I found your church in that place. I was blessed to stand with them and sing loud and off-key of your mercy and forgiveness. I heard them speak, tears streaming down their faces, of the love they never dared hope to find. They spoke of acceptance and the chance for a new beginning. Their souls soared beyond the guard towers and the barbed wire as they spoke of  You.

No wonder you loved to abide with sinners. You saw first-hand what a true encounter with you has the power to do to a wounded soul.
Forgive us Lord, when we forget we are sinners. Woe to us, like the Pharisees, when we deny our absolute need for you. When we measure our sins as small compared to some. Remind us that our righteousness is “as filthy rags” when compared to your holiness.

Help us to be real with each other.  Remind us of your grace and may we grant that grace to each other, for there is no room for judgment around a table of sinners.
Thank you that you still desire to dine with sinners so much that you stand at the door of our hearts and continually knock.

Come in, Lord Jesus, forever and always, come in. Amen.
Cyndi Word

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