Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Sinner/Pharisee

Jeff’s sermon on the ‘beatitudes’ this past Sunday was a wonderful interpretation and understanding of God’s grace. In Jesus’ sermon to the people on the ‘hill’ in their immediate setting… What a wonderful presentation of Grace….Kingdom of Heaven is now available to you, even though you are in this ‘spot’.
Grace has always been such an encouraging theme to my life, although it has been abused, bruised and misunderstood, and I am still grasping to understand what it means sometimes in my direct settings as youth pastor ….we have so much ‘stuff’ in our lives. Often my priorities are a mess and it is refreshing to know that the kingdom is available to even me.
I have been reading today the story of the Lost in Luke 15, it is an amazing chapter in the view of that Kingdom of Heaven, the Kingdom is available to us to all of us…no matter what ‘spot’ we are in…but not only that, our Heavenly Father seeks us out…searches for us…
The chapter begins with: “Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around him.” Jesus was a magnet, the kingdom was available and people wanted it, especially those that thought it was not available to them before. Of course the religious leaders missed it again as their muttering was: “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” What an amazing story of Grace….Jesus welcomes sinners and eats with them; he partakes in communion, in fellowship with sinners, with liars, thieves, cheaters, etc. What a story of Hope and Joy, and yet Jesus even has time for the religious to explain to them why, he could have dismissed them, BUT he chooses to help them understand through parables of the lost sheep, lost coin and lost son…his grace was even for the religious…how astonishing!
I hope in the end of my time people will say this about me: “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

yo paul nice thought on grace. I was just reminded today in relation of the Prodical Son, and how he deserved justice, hoped for mercy, and recieved grace. When he showed up, he deserved to be shunned or humiliated, he hoped to be granted mercy and allowed to work as a servant, and instead recieved the grace of his father, who publicly humiliated himself to welcome his lost son.

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