Stewardship Soundings – Rejoice in God’s Presence
Focus scripture: Luke 15:1-10 the parable of the lost sheep and lost coin.
The church leaders were grumbling against Jesus because he was attracting the “wrong” kind of people – sinners and tax collectors! What’s the matter with Jesus? Did he not know that church was for the perfect people? What was he trying to prove when he had dinner with sinners? Those kind of people were not welcome inside the doors of the church; they stunk up the place.
But wait; are not those the very people to whom Jesus pronounced good news? Jesus said he came to bring good news to the poor, release to the captive, recovery of sight to the blind, and freedom to the oppressed.
The church, however, was busy about keeping up appearances in their great buildings, and using the backs of the poor (widows) to do so (Mark 12:40 – 13:2.) It is no wonder that they were upset with Jesus; he was disturbing their church order.
Jesus came to shake things up, to turn the ways of the world on its head, and to demonstrate that God favored those whom society excluded, marginalized, or oppressed.
Jesus desires that we welcome in the least of these; the sinners and tax collectors, poor, marginalized, and oppressed. We can rejoice with them as we participate alongside them in God’s kingdom. We can rejoice with them in God’s presence; for where two or more are gathered, there Jesus is amongst them (us.)