Pause

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

John Newton in “Amazing Grace” (1779)

Consider today: God is searching for you. Grace awaits.

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Listen

All the tax collectors and sinners were gathering around Jesus to listen to him. The Pharisees and legal experts were grumbling, saying, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”

Luke 15:1-2

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Think

When I read about Jesus sitting with sinners and tax collectors, I struggle. These people were the low-lifes of society. They were the so-called "bad guys." The jerks. And I wonder, if I ran into a criminal, a cheat, a bully, a wrongdoer in a coffee shop, would I allow them to sit with me? I struggle with the answer.

What would Jesus do? I notice in this passage that he welcomes sinners and eats with them. Eating is one of the most intimate things we do together. And here we have Jesus eating with sinners?! So, would he eat with those whom we deem "the worst of the worst"?

It's hard to imagine, but I do believe that Jesus searches for us and that he forgives each human's sins, and he is ok with sitting down with all those sinners – also with you and me, when we do wrong. That doesn't mean that there are no consequences for our wrongdoings. But Jesus is not going to reject us. In fact, he will spend time with us. So be at peace. Jesus is there with you.

Andy Hart

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Pray

God, grant me your calm and peace. I rejoice that you sit and eat with me, even though I sin. Amen.

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Go

God is searching.

Be Found!

Be Transformed!

Andy Hart

Born in Philadelphia, PA, Andrew Hart grew up in Wayne, PA. He went to college at Wake Forest University in Winston Salem, NC. Feeling the call from God, he attended Princeton Seminary. He has served churches in South Carolina, Long Island, and recently the Presbyterian Church of Falling Spring in Chambersburg, PA.

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