Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the historic one-year lectionary.
Why do we try to crush all the joy out of God’s kingdom? That’s exactly what we do, and it’s nothing new. In Luke 15:1-10 Jesus is confronted by some who are disgruntled with him because he receives sinners. Why would he waste his time? Shouldn’t he be spending time with righteous people, people like us?
Jesus’ response is that God delights in restoration, including the restoration of the one who has been displaced from his rightful place through carelessness (the woman’s lost coin, which should have been right with the others in her special secure collection) or due to some sort of accidental oversight (the sheep who managed to get far enough away from the flock it required a search, rather than simply calling again).
How did these people in Luke 15 wind up as sinners? They were part of Israel. They were among God’s chosen people. They were partakers of the promise of God to Abraham. They had access, just as did the Scribes and Pharisees, to God’s
Word. What happened?
Some people wander through inattention. Some people don’t take the diligent care needed to train up the next generation in God’s Word. Some people neglect their own spiritual lives and those of their family members. Some people actively reject the faith. This is the reality of our fallen world. What are we supposed to do with those who are not in a close and vital relationship with God through Jesus? We don’t treat them as outcasts, or if they are outcasts, we treat them with compassion, as those who have endured a shipwreck in their faith and who are in danger of perishing due to the misfortune.
What is God’s attitude? Joy, when someone is brought to repentance and restored to faith in God. Jesus came to save sinners. He will keep working toward that goal until the end of history. May we have grace to participate in the same joy our Lord has when he works restoration.
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