Sunday Message – 22nd April
Theme: Enacted Grace
Scripture: Luke 5: 27 – 32
Today we gathered around the table in Levi’s house and watch as Jesus displays the radical nature of grace in the Kingdom of God to his unsuspecting dinner guests. We listen to the voice of Jesus critics and ask ourselves about our own response to grace. The Pharisees idea of being part of God’s people had become to be about meticulous standards instead of loving hearts which is why they couldn’t understand why Jesus would sit and eat with ‘tax collectors and sinners’ in a society where who you ate with was a socially fixed experience.
Elsewhere in Luke’s Gospel, we don’t just see Jesus transforming the guest list to the feast, but even the ettiquet…he sits at the table with hands unwashed and makes the point that outward cleanliness is nowhere as important as our hearts. The think that makes out practical expression worth, is when our ‘cups and plates’ are clean in order to honour others.
We must confess that our own tables aren’t always as embracing and that our outward appearance can be cleaner than our inward parts, but we learn from Jesus that we are all invited to come just as we are and enjoy life in the Kingdom of God.
For further reflection
Read Luke 15 and consider the ways in which Jesus expands on radical grace. What do these passages say to the ‘sinner’ and ‘the Pharisee’?