In Luke 15: 1-10, Jesus has thrown the religious leaders into a panic. They cannot believe the people who Jesus is hanging out with: the tax collectors and the “sinners.” These are the folks of ill-repute, ones who don’t really belong anywhere, and who live life on the fringes. They are the ones that respectable citizens would most likely avoid. Time and again, we see Jesus in the scriptures loving people across social, religious, and ethnic boundaries of the day. In his eyes, each person is worthy of dignity and value.
As we seek to walk in the way of Jesus, what would it mean for this church to be a place where others “grumbled” and said, “This church welcomes sinners and eats with them?” May we have the courage to do as Jesus did.