Chapter-a-Day Matthew 9

Smokers_welcomeJesus, overhearing, shot back, "Who needs a doctor: the healthy or the sick? Go figure out what this Scripture means: ‘I’m after mercy, not religion.’ I’m here to invite outsiders, not coddle insiders." Matthew 9:12-13 (TM)

A few weeks ago I sat in the lobby of our church. Like many churches, the "insiders" of our congregation appear to fit the mold of social acceptability and religious perfection. Appearances can be deceiving, however, and we’re learning to look on the inside instead. We’re continually transforming into a group of Jesus followers who have the welcome mat out to those outside our social comfort zone.

I was jazzed to watch one of our pastors escorting a young couple through the lobby a few weeks ago. The couple’s appearance was the exact opposite of the "perfection mold" we tend to broadcast. They were rough people on the exterior. They were the social "riffraff" the Jewish leaders would have complained Jesus was hanging out with. They were the people you’d least expect to walk through the doors of our church.

I watched with joy and delight as our pastor treated them like V.I.P.s. She was focusing all her attention on them. She was excited to show them around. Looking at her body language and facial expressions, you’d have thought she was giving a tour to the Queen of England. They were the most important people in the world. I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited in our church as I was at that moment. Our doors are open. The welcome mat is out.

The doors of our church are open, and there are "smoker stations" at each of them.

One thought on “Chapter-a-Day Matthew 9”

  1. 14A little later John’s followers approached, asking, “Why is it that we and the Pharisees rigorously discipline body and spirit by fasting, but your followers don’t?”
    15Jesus told them, “When you’re celebrating a wedding, you don’t skimp on the cake and wine. You feast. Later you may need to pull in your belt, but not now. No one throws cold water on a friendly bonfire. This is Kingdom Come!”
    Becky and I have chosen to model our family around this idea. We both grew up in a community that often got caught up in the rules. I love how Jesus addresses the “assumed” religious rules. We attempt to follow Christ’s rules while also following Christ’s lead of celebrating life everyday. Becky is really, really good at that.

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