Wednesday, October 26, 2016

This Sunday @ Locust Hill UMC ::: Upsidedown KINGDOM

"He eats with sinners." Religious folks just could not understand why Jesus would sit down at a table and eat with the wretched, sinner. Sure teach them. Give them something to eat. Rebuke them but don't eat with them. Sitting down at the table with the sinner, the outcast, the poor, the rich, the sinner seemed to be an offence to the religious faithful especially for a rabbi of Jesus' repute. 

Even more offensive is Jesus' willingness to say that "Salvation has come and even that this one is a child of Abraham." This whole idea of the first being last sounds wonderful on paper but do we really know what this means? The stories these past few weeks of the sinful tax collector, the vulnerable widow, and the rich, chief tax collector Zacchaeus sounds like the last and least among us are the first in this upsidedown kingdom of Jesus. 

It is that person standing on the side of the highway day after day begging for food that get a really good seat at the table in Christ's kingdom. For some reason we are bothered by this. We might wonder about our own faithfulness and hard work? What we have failed to realize is that all the things that we have are a gift and the one gift that we never have worked for is our identity as a child of God. And that is exactly the beauty of God's kingdom is that we are all children of God and Jesus reveals to us what is often hidden in our blind stereotypes of one another and exposes how much God loves each of us.

 I can hear the voice of the father saying to the elder son, "Everything have is yours..."A reminder to all those standing around grumbling at Jesus extending God's love past the arbitrary boundaries that they have set that they are NOT losing something but they are gaining something of much worth when someone hears for the first time that they are a child of most high God. 

Looking forward to diving deeper yet again into the upsidedown kingdom of Jesus.