Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to him. And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, ‘This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.’” vss. 1-2Luke 15:1-6
It’s a funny thing! We know that Jesus preferred the company of sinners and often had meals with them, but we’re often reluctant to really think of ourselves as sinners. Oh, we pay lip service to the notion, and are even a bit proud that our leader was such a humble man. We’ll even mention it if we happen to run into an obvious sinner or two along the way. We’ll tell them that Jesus loves sinners, and if they want to come to church with us they’ll be welcomed at worship. But in our hearts, many of us have a strong sense of our own righteousness. Odds are that we’d have felt right at home with those Pharisees and scribes who were a thorn in the side of Jesus. They’re our people: hardworking, law-abiding folks who keep on the straight and narrow, and who never seem to stray. In fact, because there are so many people like that in our congregations, some pastors have eliminated the confession of sins from their liturgies. Their congregants just don’t see the need. Oh how silly we are in the church! If we don’t acknowledge our own sin (and it really is there) we’re going to miss out on Jesus–because he loves sinners more than anything else!
Thought for the Day: Is there a place for the righteous in Church?