“What kind of example is this from your Teacher, acting cozy with crooks and riffraff? …Who needs a doctor: the healthy or the sick?” Matthew 9:11,12
Jesus seemed to be blind to the “disreputable characters” he encountered along his journey. He invited himself to dinner with a tax collector, asked a woman who had had many husbands and was sleeping with a guy she wasn’t married to, and wasn’t afraid to heal the lepers and mentally ill. And, that is only a few examples.
The church I belong to is planted in the middle of a mostly white neighborhood in Peoria, Arizona, between two major streets. We are open and affirming to everyone– regardless of race, sexual orientation, financial status, health, prior criminal history, etc. However, one has to either stumble across our church, find it through the Yellow Pages, or be invited to come along with someone.
To become more inclusive, the members need to leave the comfort of our Caucasian neighborhood and find the “riffraff” or “sick.” Each Sunday as we exit the sanctuary, we are challenged to enter the mission field: “Go in peace and serve the Lord.”
Lord, help me recognize the opportunity to minister to everyone wherever I am. Amen.