Based on Luke 15:1-7 these are my thoughts and wonderings as I read today
And they were all gathering to hear Jesus. The tax collectors, the sinners. The outcast, rejected and despised gathered around to listen to Jesus. Leaning in close at a meal to hear him, and I wonder what attracted them to him? What was he saying that those who did not normally feel worthy felt safe in the presence of Jesus? So safe and brought in that they felt welcome to share a meal with him and lean in to his words. What was he saying that drew a crowd? I wonder what it was like to be at that meal and feel that safe.
What a contrast that the hound of heaven would leave his court of glory, to eat in the dust with the fringe of humanity on the pages of history.
A vulnerable dinner as you draw close to the one who would speak grace and truth over you. The safest place, fully known and fully loved. No pretending, no masks, no hiding, no performance, simply fully known and fully loved.
Imagine at this vulnerable meal where you sit alongside the King of Heaven, totally unworthy in his presence and yet welcomed in like you are welcomed home. Then in the midst of this glorious welcome, those who would accuse you of not being fitting to join in the meal called it out, the whispers of your lack spoken by the gatekeepers of society. What shame that could wash over you in that moment. They have seen and they know I do not belong here, I am not enough, they have called out my lack, this lack that I have carried with me like a signpost of all my failings.
Lack of belonging, lack of grace, lack of standing, lack of dignity spoken loud in the midst of this meal before the one I had gathered to hear. This meal where for the first time it was like listening to the sound of living water running into to my soul, filling the empty spaces that my lack had always left.
Then this one who had not only eaten with me but dignified my presence with his words speaks, and the living water that I thought was filling my soul becomes a rushing river that seeps through every part of me, when he faces head on these words of shame and condemnation spoken over me. Instead he describes his journey from the throne-room of Heaven to the farthest reaches of humanity, that this hound of heaven came for me. Intent, focused, purposed.
I discover in this moment that it was not me who came to him, but he who had chased after me. This meal where I lean in to listen he came to have. Now he tells those whispering and declaring my shame that the very throne room he had left in pursuit of his so loved, stands in worship declaring the greatness of Jesus who has brought me home.
I can’t help but wonder if this is what they might have thought, or how they might have felt. I can’t help but imagine what those gathered heard as Jesus declared this holy pursuit, his gracious love and heaven’s celebration.
When I reflect on this meal, I am overwhelmed with love for the one who sat in the dust with those found by the gatekeepers to be unworthy and all I want to do is the same as him.
If my calling is to tell of the beautiful love of Jesus, then let me share with you for the first time or the millionth that relationship with Jesus brings hope, life and strength, lean in to his beautiful word as he declares to our lack that he is more than enough and you are safe to bring all you are and all you have to the feet of the one who saves.
Love, Grace and a Meal of Strength for your day
This is Day 1 of the 31 Days of Faith Series, click to read more x