S (Scripture): Luke 7:31 “To what then should I compare the people of this generation, and what are they like? 32 They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling out to one another,
‘We played the flute for you, yet you did not dance; we wailed in mourning, yet you did not weep.’
33 For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon!’ 34 The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look at him, a glutton and a drunk, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ 35 But wisdom is vindicated by all her children.”
O (Observation): The people of God we’re not expecting this one-two punch of John and Jesus. John as acting like a prophet of old…but I mean, really? Prophets just don’t do that anymore. That is so 5th century bc. Come on, John. Get it together, John.
And Jesus…eating with sinners A drunk! How is this supposed to work, Jesus?
A (Application): We all have a hard time understanding what good ministry is supposed to look like. We all measure different statistics: worship attendance, membership, service hours, money given, etc. these are measurements that can point to health. Or they can distract us from our purpose of being the church.
Quite often, when the church, or its pastors, make seemingly “unwise” decisions (extending a hand of fellowship to Muslims, LGBTQ community, or others) they are ostracized. I see this extension of fellowship as Jesus choosing to be with those who were ostracized. Why? Out of love for all people? Maybe as a show of solidarity that even though the world may be pushing people aside, God doesn’t….God won’t?
I choose a hand of fellowship.
Does that mean we all agree on everything? Nope…not necessarily.
Well…maybe we can agree on one thing: Loving our neighbor.
Yeah. That, we can agree on.
P (Prayer): Lord of love, bring us to your place of grace. Help us to reach out and connect with all of our neighbors. Amen.